By TAFP COO Kathy McCarthy, CAE
I had the privilege of attending the HOSA International Leadership Conference on behalf of AAFP in June. HOSA-Future Health Professionals is a global organization with a mission to promote career opportunities in the health industry and to enhance the delivery of quality health care for all people. It includes middle school and collegiate students, but most attendees at the conference were high school students. The regional, state, and international conferences include business sessions to elect their leadership, educational seminars and workshops, and competitive events and exams. This was the first live international event for the organization since 2019 and there were more than 10,000 high school students from across the country and the world at the meeting (the lines at the Starbucks were a testament to size of the gathering).
AAFP has worked with HOSA the past few years to develop an exam and competitive event focused on family medicine, and my purpose for attending the conference was to help judge the first live competition. The high school students did at least two interviews with family physicians and medical students. The interviews along with their research informed a presentation on the specialty, the educational pathway, and more. They gave their presentations to a group of their peers before going to competitive events. In Texas, we have seven regions with competitions and a statewide event that had 18 competitors in the Family Medicine Physician event. more