This past year I have had the honor of participating in the STFM Emerging Leaders Fellowship. As an Emerging Leaders fellow, I am learning the mindset, attitude, and behavior of an inspiring and effective physician leader.
The fellowship has provided both theoretical and practical tools for leadership. I have received invaluable mentoring and broadened my professional network within STFM. While meeting and working with other faculty across the country we have hopefully made connections that will span our careers.
As an Emerging Leaders fellow, I joined the Family Medicine for America’s Health (FMAHealth) Health Equity Cross Tactic Team. We are working to plan the second annual Starfield Summit—Primary Care’s Role in Achieving Health Equity April 22-25, 2017 in Portland, Oregon. The Summit will bring together thought leaders, experts in primary care and health disparities, and other community members to create collaborative partnerships. Summit participants will engage in strategic discussions and propose a future agenda for tangible ways in which we can bolster primary care education and research efforts to eliminate disparities and achieve equity.So how does this emerging leader imagine the future of family medicine? I believe our future shares common themes with our past. We will continue to advocate for optimal patient health and be accountable to training exceptional family physicians. Our daily work is bigger than us as individuals. Now, more than ever, our collective voices need to be heard.
The future of family medicine includes physicians continuing to work as advocates. We are advocates for our patients—especially the most vulnerable populations that require compassionate, integrative care. We are advocates for our learners who need engaged teachers who willdemonstrate excellence in the comprehensive practice of our specialty.
We are accountable to our patients and communities. We will make the communities we serve better with a holistic approach–such as lobbying to eliminate food deserts and enhancing transportation services. We are accountable to our learners with our words and actions. Our attitude says “You can count on me!” We will teach them to be socially accountable to the future communities they will serve.
I look forward to practicing in a specialty that continues to be on the front line of patient care. I am proud to help train socially conscious physicians who will eliminate health disparities and work towards health equity for all. Our future is bright and I am excited for the journey ahead. Happy 50th anniversary, STFM!