2013 AAFP National Conference Recap

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Thousands of residents and students gathered in Kansas City, Missouri from August 1-3 for the AAFP National Conference of Family Medicine Residents and Medical Students, which boasted its highest attendance in at least the past decade. The AAFP welcomed 3,542 people from August 1-3, including 1,028 medical students and 988 Family Medicine residents.

Michigan Represents

Among the thousands of residents and students in attendance, over 60 representatives from Michigan made the trip to Kansas City. Many from the Michigan delegation, and several medical students interested in Michigan Family Medicine residencies, enjoyed each other’s company at the MAFP’s Annual Michigan Reception at local hot spot, The Kill Devil Club, located in the Kansas City Power & Light District. This reception allowed students, residents, residency program staff, medical school faculty, recruiters and Academy staff to network and share best practices with one another.

MAFP was excited to participate in some of the other special events, including the Family Medicine Interest Group (FMIG) Breakfast, where the Wayne State University School of Medicine FMIG was recognized as the winner of the AAFP’s Program of Excellence categorical award for Excellence in Collaboration. Ten Wayne State University School of Medicine FMIG members were there to accept the award. Congratulations on a job well done!

Education and New Connections

Over the course of the three days, attendees participated in a variety of lectures, case-study sessions and procedure workshops focused on health care transformation and the role Family Physicians have in shaping the future of Family Medicine. Nationally-recognized speakers on the front lines of health care reform motivated the audience to get involved and seek new opportunities to advance Family Medicine in their own communities.

In a standing-room only opening session, featured speaker and former AAFP President Ted Epperly, MD, inspired attendees with a discussion about how Family Medicine offers a way forward for our nation's fractured health care system. Check out the AAFP National Conference Day One Storify recap for more.

Participants also had the chance to visit with more than 400 exhibitors during the 40th Annual event. Exhibits consisted of residency programs from throughout the country, including 10 programs from Michigan, physician recruiters, fellowship opportunities, medical missions and more.

An excellent benefit to participating in the conference was the one-on-one advice from program directors and other educators who enthusiastically reviewed hundreds of personal statements and CVs for students and residents.

Resident and Student Congresses

Held concurrently with the National Conference, National Congress of Family Medicine Residents (NCFMR) and the National Congress of Student Members (NCSM) provided an opportunity for delegates and members from each of the state chapters to influence AAFP policy and develop leadership skills. Through these forums, resident and student members elected their national officers and advocated for a wide variety of issues and causes. In its rich history, many of the initiatives launched by residents and students during these events are now AAFP policy, and many Family Medicine leaders got their start in the NCFMR and NCSM.

The MAFP Foundation provided two scholarships to support a Student Delegate and a Resident Delegate to represent Michigan in their respective congress. Ms. Nelli Thomas, a fourth-year medical student from Michigan State University College of Human Medicine, represented Michigan’s medical students, while Dr. Jonathon Wolocko, a third-year Family Medicine resident at Providence Hospital Family Medicine Residency in Southfield, represented Michigan’s Family Medicine residents. A special thank you to Ms. Thomas and Dr. Wolocko for their participation in the Congresses!

Through resolution writing, testimony and debate, residents and students had the opportunity to make an impact within the Academy.

Time to Prepare for 2014!

It was certainly an exciting and inspirational three days in Kansas City, and you can view more highlights here. MAFP has also posted some additional photos on the Academy’s Facebook Page.

The MAFP Foundation will be accepting applications for delegates to the NCFMR and NCSM this winter, so if you are interested in representing Michigan and are eager to get involved in shaping future policy, please contact Annie McIntosh at 517.664.9080 or amcintosh@mafp.com. If you are a residency program, or know of another potential exhibitor, who is interested in exhibiting with the Michigan block in 2014, please contact Annie, as well.

Finally, don’t forget to mark your calendar for next year’s event in Kansas City, August 7-9. Let’s set a goal to ensure Michigan leaves a lasting impression in Kansas City in 2014!