My Gratitude: Poetry and Prose Celebrating STFM’s Anniversary


Fogarty Colleen MD 103 300print

Colleen T. Fogarty, MD, MSc

When Mary Theobald, the Society of Teachers of Family Medicine Vice President of Communications and Programs, asked me to write a blog in celebration of the 50th anniversary of STFM, I was happy to oblige.

This month marks my 25th anniversary of medical school graduation and entering family medicine residency, so my career represents the second half of STFM’s lifespan!

STFM has been part of my professional development since my early clinical training. As a resident, I attended my first STFM meeting, the Families in Health Conference at Amelia Island. I will never forget the warm welcome I received from everyone I met there including senior colleagues who were well known in the field. My experience at the Families and Health meeting hooked me and I attended the annual meeting later in residency. STFM rapidly became my professional home and solidified my nascent desire to enter a career in academic family medicine. Even in my first practice after residency, as a full-time family physician in a rural community health center, I stayed involved and attended STFM meetings several times.

I have made many important professional relationships over the years through my involvement with STFM. These would not have been possible without this network of accomplished national colleagues. In 2004, I served as the conference chair for the 24th Annual Conference on Families in Health and have been a mentor and served on the steering committee for the Behavioral Health/Family Systems Educator Fellowship over the last several years.

As a member of the 50th Anniversary Task Force, I was once again privileged to meet exciting colleagues both from across the country and the life span of family medicine educators. At the recent annual meeting, during a reflective writing preconference that I was facilitating, I experimented with writings for this blog.

I offer the following short pieces– a 55-word story, 3 haiku, and 3, 6-word stories—all in celebration of the Society of Teachers of Family Medicine’s 50 years. They reflect my gratitude for being part of this organization.

55 Word Story

The Annual Meeting

Across a crowded room,

I spot them.

They exchange a “High-Five”

Hands meeting in an audible “smack.”

Two faculty—

One from the Midwest, a man, taller

Another from the Northeast, a woman, shorter.

Protégé and mentor–

Connecting again—STFM–their professional nexus

Broad smiles convey enthusiasm–

Connecting to each other and to the larger whole.



Providing a warm

professional home for all–

STFM  rocks!


Educating and

inspiring future leaders

STFM shines


Psychologist, nurse,

Social worker and Pharm D

Belong with us, too!

Six-word Stories, Times Three

  1. STFM brings us together, promoting health.
  2. STFM advances excellent family medicine educators.
  3. Happy Golden Anniversary, STFM, Mazel Tov!

I extend my gratitude to all STFM members and leaders over the years.  We are the “family” of family medicine!