By Perdita Henry
Congratulations go to the family medicine interest groups at the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston, Texas College of Osteopathic Medicine, and the Paul L. Foster School of Medicine for winning the first annual Texas FMIG Program of Excellence Award. Last year TAFP’s Commission on Academic Affairs voted to create the award to celebrate and support FMIGs for their work to inspire medical students to consider the specialty of family medicine.
FMIGs are student-run organizations with faculty and departmental support. They provide a forum in medical schools for students interested in family medicine. FMIG programs across Texas applied for the new award and a subcommittee of the Commission on Academic Affairs reviewed the applications and selected the winning programs. Award winners receive cash prizes to help cover student travel costs to AAFP’s National Conference of Family Medicine Residents and Students.
First place: University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston
UTMB FMIG members have a few activities they can participate in throughout the year. The crown jewel of those activities is Primary Care Procedures at the Primary Care Pavilion. Students interact with family medicine residents, explore the diverse types of practices in the specialty, and learn how to perform common in-office procedures. Also they hold an event every July called Strolling Through the Match, which brings fourth-year students preparing for interviews and residency program matches together with residents who share their experiences with the matching process. The UTMB FMIG also provides free influenza vaccines and personal toiletries to the homeless at their November community health event, Helping Hands.
Second place: Texas College of Osteopathic Medicine
TCOM also hosts events throughout the year showcasing the family medicine specialty. Every Halloween and Valentine’s Day, FMIG members visit the Casa Retirement Home to play games, dance, and promote healthy habits to residents. They also hold a monthly Osteopathic Manipulative Medicine Soft Tissue Clinic at which patients receive free treatment and students practice muscle and joint manipulations they’ve learned.
Third place: Texas Tech University HSC El Paso, Paul L. Foster School of Medicine
The Paul L. Foster School of Medicine’s FMIG partners each year with the West Texas Area Health Education Center communities and several other medical-specialty groups for their Primary Care Week. During the event-filled week, students are treated to a keynote address from an influential family physician, student-led discussions, receptions, and more, all designed to display the breadth and depth of family medicine.
Outstanding medical students leading and participating in their campus’ FMIG activities are part of what makes TAFP awesome. Their diverse voices, experiences, and insights drive the family medicine revolution in the right direction, benefiting patients and physicians alike. Congratulations to the winners of the inaugural round of TAFP’s FMIG Program of Excellence Award. You inspire us to be the change we want to see in our communities.
Are you a member of an FMIG on your campus? TAFP will begin accepting applications for the Texas FMIG Program of Excellence Award in early 2018.