July 9, 2022 - With 600-plus resident members of Michigan Academy of Family Physicians at 39 different programs, our state boasts many stellar family medicine resident physicians. This year MAFP is honored to present the Michigan Family Medicine Resident of the Year Award to Meredith Baumgartner, MD, MPH.
Dr. Baumgartner is recognized as one who approaches every task with the primary goal of service to patients, colleagues, or the community. Regarded as an excellent clinician, an astute communicator, a superlative administrator, a staunch patient advocate, and a humble, supportive teammate who leads with compassion and elevates those around her, she was coined a “superstar among star residents” at the University of Michigan.
Dr. Jean Wong, program director at U-M Family Medicine Residency, shared that, “Dr. Baumgartner is an absolute joy to work with, earning the trust and gratitude of co-workers, supervisors, and patients alike, and she has the ideal skill set, experience, heart, and dedication to serve the Michigan community.”
When Dr. Baumgartner began residency at U-M in 2019, it was coming home to a place where she was grateful to return to work, live, and learn, she shared with us. It was here that, with a passion for serving the health of communities, she previously earned her master’s in public health policy and management, and where her interest in direct patient care was ignited.
During her residency at U-M, Dr. Baumgartner completed the Department of Family Medicine’s Integrative Medicine track, where she learned evidence-based treatment options in addition to diving wholeheartedly into the full spectrum of inpatient, outpatient, pediatric, obstetric, and end-of-life care. Her goal is now to bring this holistic care approach to communities that do not generally have such options available to them.
Elected co-chief by her peers for her final year of residency, Dr. Baumgartner was responsible for helping ensure that 39 resident colleagues had optimal education experiences. She also provided administrative leadership during the COVID-19 pandemic, served on numerous committees aimed at furthering resident education and the clinical mission of the Department, received numerous awards that attest to her skills and qualities in providing high level care, published articles in peer-reviewed journals, and completed abstracts and presentations.
To top it off, Dr. Baumgartner participated in U-M’s Academic Medicine Track and the Health Equity and Scholars Program, which brings residents together from multiple residencies to examine and work to reduce health equity gaps through the lens of quality improvement work. These are all impressive accomplishments for a third-year resident, requiring an astonishing ability to balance numerous and complex responsibilities above and beyond providing clinically superb, exemplary patient care.
Now that she has completed residency, Dr. Baumgartner is beginning a U-M Community Medicine Fellowship to further her training. She will do clinical work at a federally qualified health center in Flint and obtain additional community medicine training when not seeing patients. This will allow her to expand her skill set by focusing on the treatment of addiction, a rapid area of growth and significant need in nearly every community, as well as addressing human trafficking, for which she is certified.
Dr. Baumgartner would ultimately like to practice primary care in a community clinic, such as a federally qualified health center, in Michigan, where she can pursue her clinical interests of women’s health, harm reduction and addiction medicine, public health and preventive medicine, primary care and community medicine, and health policy and advocacy. She also aspires for an appointment in a local public health department, where she can work at both the individual and community levels to improve the health of Michiganders.