National Conference for Students and Residents
AAFP’s National Conference for Students and Residents (NCSR), July 28-30 in Kansas City, was an experience to remember. The first day of the conference featured a panel of physician champions from different practice settings sharing their advocacy experiences. Drs. Natasha Bhuyan, Jennifer Brull and Zubin Damania (ZDoggMD) spoke about opportunities for students and residents to become champions of primary care. Dr. Bhuyan shared her mantra, “Show up. Speak Out. Change the Culture.” This rang especially true for students who face a culture in medical school that pushes them away from careers in primary care. This diverse and informative panel kicked off NCSR with a bang!
CAFP’s contingent of student and resident attendees made the most of its time at NCSR, including the election of our own Alex M. McDonald, MDs as next year’s Resident Chair of National Conference. Alex said “This event is unlike any other conference and is my favorite within the whole AAFP calendar. The energy and enthusiasm is palpable and contagious. I am extremely excited to be given the privilege and honor to be Resident Chair of National Conference in 2017. I will continue to build on this established foundation to show residents and students what family medicine is all about.” We know Alex will bring a level of enthusiasm and engagement to NCSR that will make California proud!
CAFP Foundation awarded scholarships to eight students to attend NCSR. Andrew Le, Western University, a Student Council member and scholarship recipient, was especially inspired by Dr. Wanda Filer’s speech and found himself reinvigorated to continue his advocacy for family medicine. He said, “The most rewarding experience to me was being immersed in the family medicine culture and surrounded by colleagues who shared many common interests.” Victoria Boggiano, Stanford University, was excited to enhance her interest in health policy by getting involved with the AAFP student congress activities. She went through the process of running for an elected position and found it fun and informative. Although she didn’t win, it was a great introduction to Congress activities and she is now in the process of applying for an appointed position. Victoria said “NCSR strengthened my commitment to family medicine and gave me a deeper perspective of the wide range of opportunities to make an impact in health policy as a family medicine physician.”
The Foundation hosted its annual California reception on the Friday evening of the conference. We had a jam-packed room, with California medical students, residents, residency faculty members and even AAFP leaders joining us for the informal gathering. Overall, AAFP National Conference 2016 was a glorious success – we only wonder how next year can top it!
Richa Saraswat is CAFP’s Manager of Medical Student and Residency Relations