San Antonio FMIG honored as “program of excellence”
AAFP named 16 medical school family medicine interest groups as the 2011 Program of Excellence Award winners for their outstanding activities in generating interest in family medicine. Among the 10 overall winners is the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio.
FMIGs are medical school-sponsored organizations that give students a chance to learn more about family medicine through regular meetings, workshops, leadership development opportunities, and community and clinical experiences. The Program of Excellence Award recognizes FMIGs for their outstanding performance in FMIG operation, community service, promoting the value of primary care, exposure to family medicine and family physicians, professional development, and measures of success.
In operation since the late 1980s, the UTHSCSA FMIG has been recognized with this award a total of five times. The group currently boasts a membership of over 200 medical students with an active board of officers.
Lori Fisher, a third-year medical student at UTHSCSA, served as FMIG president in the 2010-2011 year. “The enthusiasm of the students and dedication of our incredible faculty advisors has made this year [2010-2011] one of the best for our FMIG,” she says. “We are proud to serve the San Antonio community by providing health care services and instruction in our local schools, homeless shelters, and student-run clinics.”
In the community, the UTHSCSA FMIG staffs student-run free clinics weekly at two locations: Alpha Home, a transitional living home for women recovering from drug addiction, and the San Antonio Metropolitan Ministries, a transitional living home for previously homeless families. The group is involved in Tar Wars, AAFP’s anti-tobacco initiative that brings medical professionals into fourth- and fifth-grade classrooms, and Ready, Set, FIT!, an AAFP fitness initiative that teaches third- and fourth-grade students the importance of fitness and proper nutrition.
UTHSCSA takes extensive steps to recruit medical students to family medicine. They elect student liaisons from each medical school class to promote upcoming events and meetings; use FMIG meetings to discuss relevant medical topics, sponsor hands-on workshops, and invite family physicians from the community to speak; and sponsor an annual residency fair, which brought 17 family medicine residency programs to interact with third- and fourth-year medical students.
The FMIG has become more active with the Alamo Chapter of TAFP this year, nominating a student member to attend Alamo Chapter meetings and serve on their executive committee.
Award winners were honored during a July 29 ceremony at the AAFP National Conference for Family Medicine Residents and Medical Students in Kansas City, Mo.