Student Externship Experience Ignites Passion for Family Medicine

With the goal of stimulating student interest in Family Medicine, the MAFP Foundation annually awards an externship grant to a MAFP medical student member studying at one of the state’s seven medical schools. Funding for the grant is made possible by the MAFP Foundation and the AAFP Foundation. The MAFP Foundation selected Blake Arthurs of Wayne State University School of Medicine as the 2016 grant recipient.

Following his first year of medical school, Blake completed a clinical and research externship under the mentorship of Scott Yaekle, MD, associate director and director of student affairs at Oakwood Annapolis Family Medicine Residency and a practicing Family Physician in Westland. Over the course of six weeks, Blake experienced geriatric and newborn rounds, deliveries, home visits, outpatient procedures, and a first-hand insight into the life of an accomplished and well-rounded Family Physician.

Blake also conducted a research project focused on the critical appraisal of research articles. "There are new discoveries every day in medicine, and it is tough as a Family Medicine doctor to stay on top of everything, especially since the scope of Family Medicine is so broad," Blake wrote in his journal. "The skill of determining if a certain research finding is clinically useful for the care of a specific patient is an important tool for all physicians."

Upon reflecting on his externship experience, Blake shared:

“This externship was hands down the best experience I could have hoped for. This past year of medical school I had a lot of doubts. I wondered if I had made a mistake, if this was really what I wanted to do, if all of this schooling would be worth it. But I can now confidently say that my experience in Family Medicine this summer decidedly erased all those doubts. With the opportunity provided by the MAFP Foundation and AAFP Foundation and the generosity of Dr. Yaekle and the entire Beaumont team, I was able to see exactly what I want my future career to look like. I saw that in Family Medicine a strong doctor-patient relationship is above all else.”

MAFP is accepting applications for the 2017 Michigan Medical Student Summer Externship until January 11. Interested students are asked to work with their medical schools in submitting an application that explains the proposed learning experience the externship will provide to stimulate interest in selecting a career in, and/or purse research opportunities, in Family Medicine, and which identifies the Family Medicine mentor/preceptor.