Two Michigan Students Among 2017 Emerging Leader Institute Scholars

Two medical students from Michigan kicked off their year-long participation in AAFP Foundation's 2017 Family Medicine Leads Emerging Leader Institute on July 27 at the National Conference of Family Medicine Residents & Medical Students. Congratulations to Geeth Kavya Minama Reddy, fourth-year student at Michigan State University College of Human Medicine, and Sirisha Yellayi, fourth-year student at Michigan State University College of Osteopathic Medicine, on being selected for this exclusive leadership skill-building opportunity!

The program, aimed at ensuring the future of the Family Medicine specialty by increasing the number of future Family Medicine leaders and providing training for this important role, features three tracks:

  • Policy and public health leadership
  • Personal and practice leadership
  • philanthropic and mission-driven leadership

Over the course of the next year, the 30 scholars will work with a Family Physician mentor on a project relevant to their chosen track. Kavya (top right) with work with Renee Crichlow, MD, FAAFP (Minnesota) on a project within the policy and public health leadership track. Sirisha (bottom right) has selected to focus on philanthropic and mission-driven leadership, working with David Walsworth, MD, FAAFP (East Lansing) to complete her project.

"As a future Family Physician, I hope to partner with communities as they work to address the health outcomes that are most important to them," said Kavya. "Through the Emerging Leader Institute, I'm looking forward to developing the skills in advocacy, relationship-building, and health policy that are essential to such partnerships. My peers in the program are truly inspirational in their commitment to their colleagues, underserved medicine, and the communities that they serve—I'm looking forward to learning from them this year as I embark on a community-centered project focused on adolescent health."

Sirisha applied to the Emerging Leader Institute because she hopes to implement change within medicine and a leadership institute seemed like a strong way to learn the fundamentals of that. "I hope to learn how to create and implement lasting change as the future of medicine molds to the population and culture changes in America. The [kick-off] weekend was an amazing experience and I highly recommend it to anyone interested in Family Medicine!" she said.

This is the third consecutive year that a student and/or resident from Michigan has been selected to participate in the Emerging Leaders Institute. In 2015, the inaugural year of the program, Timothy Friedman, DO, MS, then a resident at Allegiance Health Family Medicine Residency, completed a project titled, "Initiation of Vasectomy Clinic in a Family Medicine Residency, with Associated Logistic Requirements and Financial Implications."

Last year, Jeanne Wigant, then a fourth-year student at Oakland University William Beaumont School of Medicine, completed "Truckloads of Toiletries: An Annual Contest to Reduce a Sustained Need." Her project, which collected over half a ton of toiletries that were donated to communities to benefit residents in need, was named among the top two student Emerging Leader Institute projects in 2016.

You can look forward to reading more about Kavya's and Sirisha's experience in a future issue of MAFP's quarterly journal, Michigan Family Physician.