San Antonio FMIG honored
as “program of excellence”
AAFP named 16 medical school family medicine interest groups as the 2012 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 six times. The group currently boasts an active membership of 50 medical students with a board of officers who participate in state and national family medicine leadership positions.
In their application for the award, FMIG leaders described their success in collaborating with other groups to address health-related needs in their community and to promote the specialty and primary care. “This year, in particular, we took the lead in becoming a part of a great effort to educate our peers about the value of a health care system rooted in all the principles for which the specialty of family medicine stands. We encourage our FMIG colleagues in other schools to engage with other student, professional, and community groups to advance primary care because it is so greatly needed in our country.”
As part of their mission to recruit medical students to family medicine, they utilize FMIG meetings to discuss relevant medical topics and sponsor hands-on workshops, and sponsor an annual residency fair, which brought 15 family medicine residency programs to interact with third- and fourth-year medical students. Most notably, they led the way in forming a Primary Care Progress chapter and sponsored the first-ever UTHSCSA Primary Care Week with daily events highlighting primary care and the benefits and opportunities available through family medicine, general internal medicine, nursing, pharmacy, and public health.
In the community, the UTHSCSA FMIG is involved in Tar Wars, AAFP’s anti-tobacco initiative that brings medical professionals into fourth- and fifth-grade classrooms, Ready, Set, FIT!, an AAFP fitness initiative that teaches third- and fourth-grade students the importance of fitness and proper nutrition, and Hard Hats for Little Heads, a bicycle helmet giveaway program. This year FMIG members also conducted health screenings at local schools and gave influenza immunizations to the homeless at the Haven for Hope Homeless Shelter. They held a toy drive benefiting children at seven university hospital-associated clinics.
Award winners were honored during a ceremony at the AAFP National Conference for Family Medicine Residents and Medical Students in Kansas City, Mo.