Texas well represented at AAFP’s National Conference

Tags: aafp national conference, aafp, residents, resident, students, student, medical student, congress of delegates

Texas well represented at AAFP’s National Conference

Words by Samantha White and photos by Juleah Williams and attendees

More than 2,000 students and residents attended AAFP’s National Conference for Family Medicine Residents and Medical Students, held the last weekend in July in Kansas City. This was the first in-person meeting for the conference in three years. The gathering is a great opportunity for students and residents to not only interact with peers, but also explore the many offerings of the specialty of family medicine.

The CHRISTUS Santa Rosa Family Medicine Residency Program team in the expo hall.

The expo hall featured 18 Texas residency programs, giving students from across the country an idea of what life as a family medicine resident in Texas might look like. Mariel Bagley, MD, with the CHRISTUS Santa Rosa Family Medicine Residency Program said that attending is about networking with students, as well as connecting with other programs.

“The medical students’ passion for family medicine was invigorating and inspiring, and we were proud to showcase our program and hopefully recruit them to join us,” said Bagley. We also benefit from the annual collaboration with other residents, program directors, and program coordinators. AAFPNC is a great way to start the residency academic year with renewed sense of purpose and energy.”

Medical students and residents represent Texas at the Student Congress and Resident Congress.

TAFP’s student alternate delegate, Shehani Jayawickrama, is a medical student at the University of Texas Medical Branch, attended National Conference for the first time. She had a positive first experience and was able to speak with residency programs she is interested in applying to.

“Participating in student congress was particularly exciting because I have never felt as involved in the future of family medicine as I did while sitting in the congress room discussing policies with students from across the U.S.,” said Jayawickrama. “None of this would have been possible without the help of TAFP and the privilege I was given to attend to conference as an alternate delegate representing Texas.”

TAFP also hosted a successful Texas reception one evening at Hotel Phillips, with over 120 students and residents in attendance. Some were students from other states who are interested in moving to Texas for residency. This reception gives attendees the chance to socialize and make friends within AAFP, another way to encourage involvement in organized medicine.

Representatives from the UTMB FMIG accept their award.

The University of Texas Medical Branch’s Family Medicine Interest Group was awarded the 2022 AAFP Program of Excellence Overall Award while at the conference. The FMIG previously won TAFP’s first-place FMIG Program of Excellence Award, which gave them travel funds to attend the AAFP conference. UTMB’s FMIG faculty advisory, Jennifer Raley, MD, traveled to Kansas City with a group of medical students to attend a breakfast honoring FMIG winners.

Medical student Samantha Driscoll
will serve as the 2023 chair.

Texas attendees ran for congress and conference positions, including Samantha Driscoll, a medical student at the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio. Driscoll won her election and will serve as student chair for the 2023 National Conference.

Thank you to all who represented Texas at the conference, including TAFP’s delegates and alternate delegates. Resident Delegate Khanh Truong, DO; Resident Alternate Delegate Madeline Hazle, MD; Student Delegate Kristie Tu; and Student Alternate Delegate Shehani Jayawickrama.

Attendees from UT Southwestern.

TAFP member and faculty at UT Southwestern, Astrud Villareal, MD, has attended National Conference multiple times – as a medical student, as a resident, and now as faculty. She says the knowledge and connections are both equally as beneficial.

“The National Conference shows the breadth and depth of family medicine and the FM community and is a great reminder that there’s such support for whatever shape or form we envision our family medicine story to be,” said Villareal. “I am coming back from it rejuvenated and ready to get more involved at the TAFP and AAFP levels!"