Sixth Annual Michigan Conference for Medical Students Ignites Excitement About a Future in Family Medicine

More than 100 medical students from 21 different medical schools convened on the University of Michigan campus in Ann Arbor on Saturday, October 19 to explore their future in family medicine at the sixth annual Michigan Future of Family Medicine Conference. Thank you to the University of Michigan Department of Family Medicine for being such a gracious host at a beautiful state-of-the-art facility.

Coined a “must-attend event for any student considering family medicine” by Derrek Humphries, a third-year student at St. George's University School of Medicine who lives in Burton, the conference, hosted every October by Family Medicine Foundation of Michigan, is a forum for students to explore the breadth and depth of the specialty in their quest to identify their career choice.


“The panel portion really solidified my decision to go into family medicine,” said Central Michigan University College of Medicine M3, Christina Jung. This question-and-answer style session featured physicians sharing their passion and experiences of practicing in a wide variety of models and settings. From direct primary care, to military medicine, to independent and employed practice and beyond, one common thread emerged among the family doctors' careers—family medicine offers vast choice and brings tremendous rewards based on the foundation of long-term relationships with patients and families.

During a subsequent session intended to “demystify” what it's really like to be a resident physician, program directors, faculty, and current residents themselves shared candid tips for preparing for the Match and residency.

“Being at the conference and speaking with the physicians makes me excited to graduate and practice already. The life and work experiences shared by the residents and physicians are extremely encouraging. Having been to many different conferences, I can say family medicine physicians are the friendliest out there!” said Ahmad Refai of University of Medicine and Health Sciences.

Residency Fair

To learn even more about residency, students had the opportunity to connect with different programs in Michigan during the conference’s extended-hours residency fair that spanned a breakfast meet-n-greet and networking lunch.

“It was very inspiring and exciting to learn more about the field of family medicine. Even though I’m only a first year, I feel like I still got a lot out of the conference by talking to the different residency programs and knowing that there are so many opportunities out there to learn and grow in this welcome profession,” said Thu Tran, M1 at Michigan State University College of Human Medicine.

Clinical Workshops

Students also had the opportunity to choose from six different clinical workshops to learn and practice procedures that family physicians are likely to perform in the primary care setting. Led by practicing physicians and residents, the workshops focused on suturing, punch and shave biopsies, osteopathic medicine manipulation, joint ultrasounds, newborn evaluations, and pelvic exams and IUD insertion.

“This is a great opportunity for all levels of medical students. The more experienced students also seem to benefit from teaching us less experienced students, and the opportunity to get genuine feedback from residents and faculty is very valuable!" said Michigan State University of College of Osteopathic Medicine's class of 2023, Nabeth Midley.

2020 Conference

Plans are already underway for the 2020 Michigan Future of Family Medicine Conference, and this year’s attendees overwhelming said they will be back. Whether a first-year medical student or senior on the Match trail, this annual conference offers something for everyone.

As summed up by Central Michigan University College of medicine senior, Sara Robinson, who has attended the conference every year of her medical schooling, “It is empowering and inspiring to be around so many people enthusiastic about family medicine. I am so excited to become a family physician, and this conference and the MAFP have greatly helped me discover this passion over the years.”

To see pictures from the conference, check out MAFP’s Facebook photo album. And stay tuned for the date and location of the 2020 Michigan Future of Family Medicine Conference.