Medical Student Externship

Each year, Family Medicine Foundation of Michigan selects up to two student members of MAFP to participate in a 4-6 week clinical and/or research experience tailored to their interests and under the mentorship of a family physician member of MAFP. The goal is to stimulate student interest in the family physician specialty.

The selected extern receives a $2,000 stipend after completing the externship. The family medicine mentor received a $500 stipend. Funding is provided by matching grants from Family Medicine Foundation of Michigan and AAFP Foundation.


  • Full-time student at an accredited medical school in Michigan
  • MAFP student member
  • Interest in exploring a career as a family physician
  • Mentor must be a family physician member of MAFP in good standing

How to Apply

  • Interested students work with their medical school to identify a family physician mentor/preceptor and plan the externship

Past Externs

2023: Nikita BhanguLeya Maliekal

Nikita Bhangu“Doing the externship at Care Free Clinic in Lansing, Michigan, has by far been the most impactful experience when it comes to my development as a medical student and future family physician. Through the outstanding mentorship of Dr. Bhatti and Dr. Loubert, I’ve become more confident in my decision to pursue a career in family medicine. They demonstrated the critical role you get to play in a patient's life and health. I became better aware of themes that I will take with me through the rest of my medical career, including the medical and social preventative maintenance we should advocate for as family physicians, the wide skill set we have for both chronic and acute conditions, and that there is still nothing more important in this field than the doctor-patient relationship.Unique experiences like this externship add so much value and substance to a medical education that cannot come to fruition by solely reading from textbooks. I highly recommend any medical student take part in this experience.”  - Nikita Bhangu, Michigan State University College of Human Medicine, MD Candidate 2025. 

Leya Maliekal

"I had the opportunity to complete my MAFP summer externship experience this August 2023 under the mentorship of Dr. Fatin Sahhar. I was so excited to experience different facets of family medicine through outpatient clinic visits at DMC Grand River Health Center, inpatient palliative and hospice visits at Detroit Veterans Affairs and Karmanos Cancer Institute, continued learning through resident didactics and student presentations, and community engagement with pediatric literacy through grant proposal writing. This summer showed me the breadth, depth, and unlimited possibilities of family medicine. Moreover, I learned that palliative medicine and community engagement are especially meaningful to me. I’m grateful to have experienced a little taste of what my future may look like, and I can’t wait to incorporate these elements into my future practice as a family medicine provider. " - Leya Maliekal, Wayne State University School of Medicine Class of 2024.

2022: Justin Abadejos & Angelina Palacios

Justin Abadejos"I had the amazing privilege of completing my externship working within the multi-faceted network of Detroit Street Care, a street medicine program. I saw patients on the streets and at our pop-up clinics at local churches and soup kitchens, provided clean supplies and harm reduction outreach with Detroit Recovery project, worked clinics at CHASS Center, Henry Ford Harbortown, and Henry Ford Detroit Northwest, and even in the hospital at Henry Ford Main Hospital. Over the month I saw the true definition of full-spectrum family medicine manifest in all these location. My ultimate goal as a future family medicine physician is to provide holistic care to underserved, ethnically-diverse populations in both the traditional places of healthcare in the hospital and clinic while also expanding healthcare into the community, to homeless shelters, and finally to the streets. This special opportunity gave me a glimpse of how that dream can become reality." - Justin Abadejos, Michigan State University College of Osteopathic Medicine, MD Candidate June 2023

Angelina Palacios"I had an amazing clinical experience and accomplished so many firsts. I did my first IUD placement and removal, colposcopy, shave biopsy, punch biopsy, joint injections, and even GBS swab. I helped give people gender reaffirming care. I had so much community involvement. I ran a 5k at CHASS with my community to promote physical activity. I was on the streets of Detroit giving people experiencing homelessness medical care. I gave kids vision exams for their school sports physicals at the Detroit Boxing Gym. I even had the opportunity to talk about the impact a physician can have on local community politics to help patients. it was an unforgettable experience on how to build long-lasting relationships with patients. My heart is so full of overwhelming emotions of hope and excitement. I know for a fact now that family medicine is more than the right choice for me. It is the career where I feel like I can make the biggest impact on population health." - Angelina Palacios, Wayne State University School of Medicine, MD Candidate June 2023

2021: Anneliese Petersen

Anneliese Petersen“I had the privilege of listening to stories, sharing jokes, joining in concerns, and truly building friendships with those on the street. This month reminded me of why I am pursuing medicine, and why I have chosen family practice." - Anneliese Petersen, Wayne State University School of Medicine, Class of 2022


2020: Ameen Suhrawardy & Eli Benchell Eisman

Ameen Shurawardy“Seeing real-life presentations of clinical diseases and conditions is the best way to fully connect and understand illnesses. I got to see the work of family physicians in the outpatient setting on a day-to-day basis. I learned from their history-taking strategies, clinical decision making, patient relationship building, and from their own career trajectories out of medical school. I observed how family physicians manage long-term chronic conditions and integrate lifestyle and holistic solutions into their treatment. I participated in clinical management alongside physicians, reviewing patient history, medications, consult notes, lab results, and much more.” - Ameen Suhrawardy, Oakland University William Beaumont School of Medicine, MD Candidate May 2023

Eli Benchell Eisman“The externship taught me to understand that when I see a patient, regardless of the setting, that what I am getting is just a snapshot of what’s going on in their life. That by taking the time to meet someone where they are in that moment, and offer holistic and contextualized care, that’s when we can see real healing." - Eli Benchell Eisman, PhD, Michigan State University College of Osteopathic Medicine, Class of 2021

2019: Kassy Kneen

Kassy Kneen“My experience during the externship was phenomenal. I had the chance to see how family medicine operates, both on the inpatient and outpatient teams. I was able to practice my patient interviewing skills and presentation to multiple physicians, which as a valuable experience for me. I was also able to practice the physical exam techniques that I learned in my first year of medical school that I hadn't been able to practice otherwise. I saw a wide variety of cases, from viral illness to mental health concerns." - Kassy Kneen, Oakland University William Beaumont School of Medicine, Class of 2022

2018: Michelle Fedorowicz

Michelle Fedorowicz“I was able to expand my clinical experience exponentially from my first year of medical school. My days varied greatly in the family medicine clinic, as I spent most every day with a different physician—both attendings and residents. There was never a patient or hour that went by where teaching wasn’t going on, whether from the physician to myself, the physician to the patient, or the attending to the resident. It was really special to be a part of this, and to have such an open learning environment to practice my own skills and learn from others.” - Michelle Fedorowicz, Oakland University William Beaumont School of Medicine, Class of 2021

2017: Adam McMillan

Adam McMillan"This externship gave me the best clinical learning experience that I have had so far in medical school. I was happily surprised to be part of many cases of continuity of care with patients who had come in early during my externship and then followed up [with them] later…sometimes twice. I look forward to practicing in the field and I’m excited for the future of family medicine, for the goal of making health primary through increasing patient-centered primary care." - Adam McMillan, Wayne State University School of Medicine, Class of 2020

2016: Blake Arthurs

Blake Arthurs“This externship was hands down the best experience I could have hoped for. This past year of medical school I had a lot of doubts. I wondered if I had made a mistake, if this was really what I wanted to do, if all of this schooling would be worth it. But I can now confidently say that my experience in family medicine this summer decidedly erased all those doubts. With the opportunity provided by the MAFP Foundation and AAFP Foundation and the generosity of Dr. Yaekle and the entire Beaumont team, I was able to see exactly what I want my future career to look like. I saw that in family medicine a strong doctor-patient relationship is above all else.” Blake Arthurs, Wayne State University School of Medicine, Class of 2019

2013: Melissa Jennings

"My externship was eye opening; and, in retrospect, it was my first look into what makes family medicine so special to me: a broad scope of practice and meaningful, long-term relationships with patients. Because of the externship, I was able to envision a future for myself in family medicine. From seeing patients in clinic, to rounding on the inpatient medicine service, to observing my first delivery, the month was full of new experiences. I gained clinical knowledge, as well as a better understanding of what day-to-day life is like in Family Medicine. I encourage any medical student to apply for this opportunity. Even if family medicine isn't on your radar, either, you may find like I did that it's the perfect fit for you." - Melissa Jennings, Wayne State University School of Medicine, Class of 2016