New Membership Category Benefits U.S. Medical School Grads

A new "transitional membership" category that was approved by the AAFP's 2018 Congress of Delegates (COD) during its October meeting in New Orleans will take effect on December 18.

According to the AAFP Bylaws, transitional membership will be available to graduates of allopathic or osteopathic medical schools who have not yet entered a residency program approved by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) or the American Osteopathic Association (AOA).

A person's eligibility for transitional membership will be terminated on December 31 of the second full calendar year following the year in which the member graduated from medical school or when the member enrolls in an ACGME- or AOA-approved residency.

Transitional members will not be entitled to hold office in the AAFP or vote on COD resolutions or in Academy elections, but they may speak in reference committee hearings.

The new category was created to ensure that U.S. and international medical school graduates are treated equally with respect to membership options. International graduates who did not enter a residency have been able to remain international members for several years; however, U.S graduates had no membership option if they didn't immediately match into a program.

The COD also considered and adopted several amendments to AAFP Bylaws to clarify the application and approval process for active, resident and student membership, as well as for supporting and international membership.

One important change to highlight in the student membership category is that students studying in international medical schools will now be offered free AAFP membership—a benefit that previously was available only to U.S. medical students.

All changes made to the AAFP Bylaws by the 2018 COD will be available online for member review on December 18.

Source: AAFP News, December 2018, copyright AAFP.