Medical Students Explore Family Medicine at Fifth Annual Michigan Conference

Nearly 100 medical students from 15 medical schools convened on the campus of Michigan State University in East Lansing on Saturday, October 13, for the 2018 Michigan Future of Family Medicine Conference.

“It was wonderful to see the future Family Physicians who will be caring for the patients of the future,” said Amy Keenum, DO, PharmD, FAAFP, chair of the Department of Family and Community Medicine at Michigan State University (MSU) College of Osteopathic Medicine.

The MSU College of Osteopathic Medicine and College of Human Medicine partnered with Family Medicine Foundation of Michigan—MAFP’s philanthropic arm—to co-host this year’s conference.

“Now in its fifth year, the conference has become a tradition that medical students look forward to as an opportunity to learn about the Family Medicine specialty and network with Family Physicians, residency programs, and peers,” said Christine Medaugh, MD, Chair of the Foundation's Student & Resident Education Committee, which planned the conference.

For third-year Central Michigan University College of Medicine student Sara Robinson, the conference brought to life everything she loves about Family Medicine. “At its core, Family Medicine is about compassionate, all-encompassing, patient-centered care, and this conference truly helped promote those values. It was a wonderful opportunity to learn from practicing physicians, interact with various residencies, and meet fellow students who are as equally excited about the field. At the end of the day, I left feeling inspired and encouraged, and my experience helped me further realize that I truly want to be a Family Medicine Physician," she said.

The day-long agenda included panel discussions with Family Physicians, residency program faculty and residents who talked about the multitude of options a career in Family Medicine provides. They also shared tips for preparing for residency and answered questions about what it's really like to be a Family Doctor.

Students then broke into small groups to learn and practice clinical procedures they are likely to perform as a Family Physician, including punch and shave biopsies, osteopathic manipulation medicine, joint injections, pelvic exams, IUD insertion, and suturing.

To round out the day, students had the opportunity to talk with program directors, faculty, and residents from various residency programs in Michigan as they explored where the next step in their journey to becoming a Family Physician could potentially take them.

"As a first year medical student, Future of Family Medicine was a great opportunity to experience the depth of Family Medicine and interact with professionals in the field. The conference helped correlate what I am learning in the classroom to the real world and it made me excited for my future in medicine,” said Mehma Singh, Michigan State University College of Osteopathic Medicine.

That excitement was echoed by Shelby Owens, third-year student at MSU College of Human Medicine, who described the conference as invigorating. "Hearing about the many opportunities in Family Medicine gave me a wider view and understanding of its many facets. I really enjoyed hearing from Family Physicians involved in advocacy, leadership, teaching, direct primary care, and public health. Speaking with residents and residency administrators helped me identify which programs offer the kind of training I'll need to practice in rural Michigan. And finally, the afternoon workshops allowed me the chance to brush up on my joint injection and women's health procedural skills. While practice can seem so far away from classes and clerkships, I look forward to the Future of Family Medicine conference every year to remind me what my hard work is leading towards, and it's a great feeling to know I've found my "people" in Family Medicine," she said.

Family Medicine Foundation of Michigan extends a tremendous thank you to the AAFP Foundation for grant funding through the Family Medicine Philanthropic Consortium; Michigan State University Colleges of Human Medicine and Osteopathic Medicine for co-hosting the conference, and to United Dairy Industry of Michigan and Mercy Health Grand Rapids Family Medicine Residency for serving as sponsors.

Stay tuned to hear where and when the sixth annual Michigan Future of Family Medicine Conference will take place in 2019.

Click here for pictures from the conference on MAFP’s Facebook page.