Category Archives: 50th Anniversary Series

Medicine Inherently Requires All Physicians to Be Teachers

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Throughout my medical education, my best mentors have been family physicians. Without exception, they are enthusiastic, committed, passionate, intelligent, and innovative leaders who have inspired me to be the best family physician I can be. As I cross the midpoint of my residency training, I have spent more time thinking about the next steps in my career and how to best continue to affect change. I want to prioritize teaching family medicine and pursue a career either in academics or in a position where I can work closely with medical students or residents.

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Karl Dietrich, MD, MPH

Medicine inherently requires all physicians to be teachers, and find effective and efficient ways to share information with patients. As a high school teacher prior to pursuing medicine, this was one of the appealing parts of becoming a physician. By embracing our role as teachers, we allow our patients to learn about their own health, become their own best advocates, and hopefully influence others to think more about their health. Teaching family medicine appeals to me because it could broaden my potential impact by not only increasing the number of future family physicians but by increasing the number of physicians in other fields with a strong understanding of the value of family medicine. We know that a strong primary care system will be essential to the ongoing success of our health care system, and I see no better way to ensure that than by increasing the number of committed family physicians in this country.

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Our Collective Voices Need to Be Heard

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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.

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Ronya Green, MD, MPH

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!

Two Decades of Memories and a Crystal Ball

50anni_headerpresentfutureCelebrating STFM’s 50 years. I’ve been a part of the Society for nearly half of that.

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Stacy Brungardt, CAE STFM Executive Director

There have been moments when I can’t move from my chair. Like the time our Leland Blanchard Lecturer Bill Strickland told us how he partnered with the Pittsburgh community to create an arts and technology center for disadvantaged kids. I experienced the same chair paralysis when Peter Coggan, MD, shared his personal story of perseverance and why he gives back to STFM. I was too moved to move.

I see many faces from the past and present when I look back on my 23 plus years of memories and emotions.

Joy. I can still picture where I was and the amazing feeling of the phone call from Search Committee Chair John Rogers, MD, MPH, offering me the job as STFM executive director. That was a moment.

Pride. I appreciate watching excellence unfold. Like the time Mary Hall, MD, nailed her incoming president’s address or when I’ve witnessed the brilliance of Jerry Kruse, MD, as he connects the dots between disparate ideas that no one else sees.

Inspiration. During her presidency, Jeri Hepworth, PhD, talked about STFM moving big rocks. This terminology inspired our current strategic plan and reminds us that STFM and family medicine have the power to do great things if we believe and expect that of ourselves.

Perseverance. We heard for years that it was too hard to get the family of family medicine to reach consensus on a national family medicine clerkship curriculum. These folks didn’t know Scott Fields, MD, or Heidi Chumley, MD.

Adventures. My job has taken me to Italy, Prague, Singapore, Cancun, and all over the United States. I saw the world through a different lens when given the opportunity to join John Saultz, MD, and his team on a trip to Japan. I enjoyed being Stacy-san for the week.

Friendships. I’ve had countless dinners and visited the homes and families of Perry Dickinson, MD, Betsy Garrett, MD, MSPH, Sam Cullison, MD, Melly Goodell, MD, and Larry Green, MD, among others. What a gift to have these friendships and be invited into their personal lives.

STFM’s Future: Here’s What I See

The STFM leadership has created a culture of innovation within the Society that accepts risks and invests in the future. We celebrate the lifespan of activities to make space for something new. The Society is well positioned to embrace change and adapt to the future.

Terry Steyer, MD, was the STFM president who inspired the creation of our Emerging Leaders program. Deborah Taylor, PhD, Victoria Gorski, MD, and Julie Schirmer, MSW, built a leadership infrastructure that embraces and develops our behavioral science community. Katie Margo, MD, seized an opportunity to nurture young leaders in the medical student educator world. STFM has invested in developing our next generation of leaders. I imagine a future when the majority of the voices in our leadership are today’s millennials.

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