August 20, 2021 - Himanshi Chopra, MD has been selected to receive the 2021 AAFP Award for Excellence in Graduate Medical Education. Dr. Chopra is chief resident at McLaren Oakland Family Medicine Residency in Pontiac and resident member on the Michigan Academy of Family Physicians Board of Directors. She is one of just 12 residents from across the country to receive this prestigious award, ranking her among the top family medicine residents in the country. In addition to recognition for outstanding leadership, civic involvement, exemplary patient care, and aptitute for and interest in family medicine, Dr. Chopra will receive a $1,000 scholarship and complimentary registration for AAFP's virtual 2021 Family Medicine Experience, Sept. 28-Oct. 2.
Why Family Medicine
Versatility and patient relationships are what drew Dr. Chopra to the family medicine specialty.
“This is one of the only fields of medicine that allows you to drive your career in any direction you choose. It provides continuity of care, a broad range of medical cases, and most of all opportunity to care for individuals at various stages of life,” she said.
A native of India, Dr. Chopra was first inspired to become a doctor by her physician father.
“My father instilled in me the value of this noble profession at a very early age. I was his little assistant who took down names, handed out free refreshments to patients waiting in long lines, and watched him work tirelessly for free in areas where not many preferred,” she shared.
Aside from providing exemplary patient care during the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic, Dr. Chopra reached out to leaders in the Pontiac community, including the school district superintendent, offering to help educate the community and volunteer her medical services. She organized seminars and educated school district officials, teachers, parents, and students regarding COVID-19 and, later, vaccination. Her initiative, which she called “Kick COVID to the Curb,” helped in re-opening Pontiac schools safely.
“I take my role in society seriously and hope to continue helping my community in the future,” she said.
Recognized as motivated, dependable, responsible, invested in the community, and a natural born leader, Dr. Mark Schury, McLaren Oakland Family Medicine Residency program director, shared that Dr. Chopra hit the ground running from day one of residency, planning research opportunities and quality improvement projects, and preparing to become the program’s chief resident.
“She knits the program together, keeping residents and faculty engaged by initiating projects that promote collaboration. She not only starts new projects herself, but encourages other residents to join in her endeavors,” said Dr. Schury.
Dr. Chopra is currently planning a biostatistics curriculum for residents affiliated with the Michigan State University Statewide Campus System to assist in preparation for the USMLE Step III exam. She also hopes to initiate a point of care ultrasound curriculum for the McLaren Oakland Family Medicine Residency program which will allow residents to learn a critical skill as well as provide exceptional care to the underserved community in the area for years to come.
“I am humbled to have played a small part in Dr. Chopra’s education. She is truly what every physician at any level or specialty should aspire to be,” said Dr. Schury.
Feeling beyond honored by this award recognition, Dr. Chopra shared that receiving it was “by no means a solo effort.” She credits her program director, Dr. Schury, the McLaren graduate medical education program, and the entire MAFP family for all of its support and thriving environment.
“I’ve been active with MAFP for almost two years now, and it has been a very rewarding journey. I hope to continue on the path that led me here,” said Dr. Chopra.
Post-residency, Dr. Chopra plans to join a hospital-owned outpatient practice in an underserved area, providing her the opportunity to care for and educate patients who need the most attention. She aspires to continue implementing quality improvement projects, serve in a faculty position within a family medicine training program in Southeast Michigan, and teach medical students and residents, which she said will also enable her to continue educating herself through the art of teaching medicine.