Flint Physician Named Michigan Family Medicine Resident of the Year

August 8, 2020Julie Thai, MD, MPH of Flint was recognized with a 2020 Michigan Family Medicine Resident of the Year Award during Michigan Academy of Family Physicians’ annual awards celebration, live-streadmed on Aug. 8 due to COVID-19.

Michigan Academy of Family Physicians—the largest medical specialty organization in the state representing and led by family physicians—presents this distinguished award to resident physicians in recognition of exemplary patient care, leadership, commitment to the community, contributions to scholarly activity, and dedication to the specialty of family medicine.

Dr. Thai is in her final year of residency at McLaren Flint Family Medicine Residency, where she was elected by her peers and faculty to serve as academic chief resident for the 2020-2021 program year that began July 1. She previously served as the program’s assistant chief resident, a distinct honor conferred each year to an intern resident who demonstrates the greatest record of leadership and scholarship.

“She is one of the best residents I have ever worked with,” said McLaren Flint Family Medicine Residency Program Director Prabhat Pokhrel, MD, MS, PhD. “She excels academically, provides excellent community service and patient care, and has completed excellent scholarly activities. She is an all-arounder.”

Dr. Thai is also a catalyst for family medicine advocacy. After completing MAFP’s Advocacy and Leadership Development Program in 2018, she co-authored an advocacy and health policy curriculum that is getting state and national attention as a model to replicate.. Following a successful pilot, after which 100% of participatns indicated their understanding of advocacy improved and interest in advocacy and health policy nearly doubled, various components of the four-week elective will now be incorporated into McLaren Flint Family Medicine Residency Program’s required Health System Sciences rotation.

Dr. Thai has authored 16 publications in peer-reviewed journals, presented 14 posters at regional, national, and international conferences, and is currently conducting a study of barriers to breastfeeding in the Flint community.

She served as resident member on the 2019-2020 MAFP Board of Directors, was appointed Michigan’s 2019 resident delegate to American Academy of Family Physicians’ National Congress of Family Medicine Residents, and was inducted earlier this year into the Gamma Chapter of Alpha Omega Alpha Medical Honor Society at Michigan State University College of Human Medicine.

Dr. Thai holds a master’s in public health from Columbia University and earned her medical degree from Michigan State University College of Human Medicine in 2018. After completing her residency training at McLaren Flint Family Medicine Residency in June 2021, she plans to pursue a fellowship in geriatrics.

Of being named a 2020 Michigan Family Medicine Resident of the Year, Dr. Thai said, "I feel extremely honored to be recognized for the work that I am passionate about doing and get to do every day. To be able to serve the Flint community while promoting advocacy in graduate medical education are things that I feel have shaped me not only as a professional but also as a person. Being a doctor has been one of the greatest accomplishments in my life and now to be awarded for it, I am truly grateful."