Be a champion for family medicine’s future

Tags: preceptorship, champion, funding, scholarship, tafp foundation

Be a champion for family medicine’s future

By Kathy McCarthy

We can all agree that Texas needs more family physicians. One of the ways we get there is for more medical students to choose family medicine as their specialty. We have evidence showing that early exposure to primary care makes a huge difference in the specialty choice of medical students. The Texas Statewide Family Medicine Preceptorship Program has been a key part of that early exposure since 1980. Over 4,000 pre-clinical medical students have participated in the program.

When the program lost state funding last year, a huge need was created. Texas family physicians know the value of this program. So many of you have participated as a preceptor, preceptee, or both. TAFP leadership quickly decided that they could not stand to let this program disappear. TAFP took over the administrative support for the program, but the state funding was largely used to fund stipends for first- and second-year medical students who apply to spend two weeks to a month with a family physician. TAFP staff matched interested students in 2012, but there was no funding for the stipends. We know the funding is a critical element for medical students deeply in debt so our new task is to restore the stipends in 2013.

The TAFP Foundation has taken up the cause to build support for the stipends. The TAFP Foundation Board of Trustees created the student interest endowment at their most recent meeting and provided funding for the Lewis Foxhall Student Interest Champion Fund to honor the longtime program director who helped shepherd the program to TAFP. Seeing the need, Dr. Leah Raye Mabry asked the Foundation Board to move the money she had donated to establish a scholarship to the Student Interest Endowment creating the Platinum Level Leah Raye Mabry Student Interest Champion Fund. The endowment will provide a stable source of support for the stipends as well as student travel funding to attend family medicine meetings and funding for interest groups at Texas medical schools. At its current level, it will provide enough funding for about five students in 2013. We need your help to increase that funding.

You can donate to support the Foxhall or Mabry Fund, make a general donation to the endowment, or create a champion fund in your own name. Leave a legacy and show that you support the next generation of family physicians. Donate $5,000 to establish a bronze level champion fund (it can be donated over five years). Whether you can spare $5 or $5,000, donate today and show your support for this valuable program. Visit the TAFP Foundation webpage for a donor form or simply mail a check to 12012 Technology Blvd, Ste 200; Austin, TX 78727. Call me at (512) 329-8666, ext. 14 with any questions.

2012 Foundation awards scholarships

Congratulations to the future family physicians who were awarded medical student scholarships this year.

  • Allison Peddle and Kimberly Aparicio – William F. Ross, M.D. Scholarship
  • David Aldrete, Hugo Salazar, and Matthew Mullane – Valley Chapter Scholarship
  • Zachary Marshall and Stella L. Benavides – Harold T. Pruessner, M.D. Scholarship
  • Clinton Borchardt and Alyssa Adkins Tochterman – Norma Porres, M.D. and Felipe Porres, M.D. Scholarship
  • Zachary Taylor, M.D. – S. Perry Post, M.D. Scholarship
  • Amber Higgs, M.D., and Eliezer Castaneda – Glen R. Johnson, M.D. Minority Scholarship
  • Geoffrey Moses, Rachel Marinch, and Amber Higgs, M.D. – Weldon G. Kolb, M.D. Scholarship
  • Amy Thorne and Kevin Sisk – Arnold N. Krause, M.D. Scholarship
  • Francis Goldshmid – Minnie Lee Lancaster, M.D. and Edgar Lancaster, M.D. Scholarship
  • Danish Ali and Amy Thorne – South Texas Chapter Scholarship

In addition, Richel Avery, M.D., and Elilta M. Hagos, M.D., received the first Cassie Murphy Cullen, Ph.D. scholarships to present their research at national conferences.