The Wayne State University School of Medicine welcomed 91 medical students and residents from all of Michigan's medical schools for the 2016 Michigan Future of Family Medicine Conference, held Oct. 15 at the Margherio Family Conference Center.
The event was presented by the Michigan Academy of Family Physicians, the state's largest specialty physician association. The meeting included education sessions designed to provide medical students with opportunities to explore the depth and breadth of a career in Family Medicine.
"It was really helpful to hear all of the different paths that physicians took within the specialty. I liked the size of the conference, as I felt it allowed for more interaction with speakers and other participants," said WSU third-year medical student and conference attendee Elizabeth Perry. "While I already wanted to practice Family Medicine, I thought the conference provided me with more reasons to love the specialty, and I left with even more enthusiasm."
Michigan residency program representatives networked with students during dedicated exhibit times, and residents also served as student mentors during outpatient clinical procedures sessions on ultrasound-guided injections, radiofrequency/electrosurgery and more.
"WSU was the most heavily represented school with about 30 students attending, nearly all on a Dr. Bruce Kresge, M.D. scholarship," said Margit Chadwell, M.D., '94, assistant professor of Family Medicine and Public Health Sciences and director of the Family Medicine Clerkship and Continuity Clerkship Year Three. "I believe this conference, designed for students to explore Family Medicine, is instrumental in helping students to explore the many career options in our clinically rich and diverse specialty and to understand its' pivotal role in achieving the health care delivery goals of our country."
The academy introduced a new tradition this year of hosting the conference at a different medical school in Michigan annually, starting with WSU. In addition to serving as host, the School of Medicine promoted the conference among medical students and provided assistance with logistical planning and on-site support. Dr. Chadwell and Family Medicine Undergraduate Medical Education Program Project Coordinator Lisa Blackwell were instrumental in organizing the event, and Family Medicine Interest Group student leaders contributed to the conference as well.
"It was an honor for us at the WSU Department of Family Medicine and Public Health Sciences to host it and work closely with the Michigan Academy of Family Physicians," said Tsveti Markova, M.D., F.A.A.C.P., professor and chair of the department. "Students from all Michigan medical schools and others asked excellent questions. They seemed genuinely interested in learning more about Family Medicine as a specialty, the value it brings not only to the individual patient but also to the public, and how they could shape its future. We are committed to further promoting student interest in Family Medicine."
The conference was designed to show students and residents the opportunities available in the field, including possible fellowship routes available after residency.
"The conference was a successful learning and networking opportunity for the 91 students and residents who attended. From the evaluations received thus far, attendees said the panel discussions, networking with residency programs and hands-on clinical workshops increased their interest in Family Medicine and desire to explore the specialty in more depth, and they are more enthused about their career choice as a family physician than before," said Dana Lawrence, the MAFP's director of Communications.