A productive year of sponsoring and participating in community services and professional development program has earned the UMKC School of Medicine’s Family Medicine Interest Group the 2019 Program of Excellence Award from the American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP).
The honor is given annually in recognition of outstanding performance in student involvement and retention, advocacy of family medicine, community outreach and patient advocacy. It was presented this summer to 19 medical school Family Medicine Interest Groups during the AAFP National Conference of Family Medicine Residents and Medical Students in Kansas City.
These student-run organizations provide opportunities for students to learn about and experience family medicine outside of their medical school curricula. They also sponsor events, workshops, leadership development opportunities and community and clinical experiences.
The UMKC organization was selected for its wide-ranging series of programs such as performing sports physicals for more than 350 children, early exposure to health care professions through a middle school Medical Explorers Pipeline Project, participation in a diabetes prevention program, programs to bring local medical students and family physicians together to talk about family medicine, and a week-long series of events to promote Primary Care Week.
Throughout the year, members of the interest group also developed working relationships with other interest groups on campus such as the Simulation Interest Group, the Pediatric Interest Group, Wellness Council, and the free, student-run Sojourners Clinic.
Morgan Dresvyannikov, MS 6, and Kyla Mahone, MS 5, served the award-winning 2018-19 year as co-presidents of the School of Medicine group that has nearly 130 active members. Other leadership members included Alice Hwang, M.D., 19, and Emma Connelly, MS 5, co-vice presidents; Michele Sun, MS 6, treasurer; Paige Charboneau, MS 6, secretary; Andrea Pelate, MS 5, community Chair; and Claire Wolber, MS 5, public relations. Aniesa Slack, M.D., assistant professor of community and family medicine, serves a faculty sponsor.
“Making sure that medical students have an appreciation of family medicine is a key step to those students choosing family medicine for their career,” said Clif Knight, MD, senior vice president for education at the AAFP. “This year’s award winners have done outstanding work giving students the opportunity to activate the knowledge they’ve acquired in the classroom, develop leadership skills that will serve them in their future practices and communities, and better understand the vital role that family medicine plays in our health care system.”
This was the second time the School of Medicine organization has received the award. It also earned the recognition in 2011.