TAFP’s student and resident conference celebrates 20 years

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TAFP’s student and resident conference celebrates 20 years

TAFP began producing a conference for the next generation of family physicians some 20 years ago. Coming on the heels of a decline in student interest in family medicine, TAFP held its first Student Leadership Retreat in June 1990. The faculty included then up-and-coming TAFP leadersJim Martin, M.D., Roland Goertz, M.D., and Sheri Talley, M.D.—and had a goal to “increase student interest in family practice” along with developing personal leadership skills. The second conference was held in conjunction with TAFP’s Annual Session in 1991, and by 1993 the Student Leadership Conference had found its home with Interim Session in March.

In 1997, the conference expanded to include residents and became known as the Student and Resident Leadership Conference. In 2001, a residency fair was added to allow the students to get information about the various family medicine residencies in Texas. Procedures were added to the conference in 2005 with the residency programs demonstrating in a round-robin format. With the conference including more than leadership development, the name was changed to the Texas Conference for Family Medicine Residents and Students.

John Richmond, M.D., of Dallas, who served as chair of the conference from 1991 to 1994 and 1997 to 2007, as well as various other roles involving education and interaction with the students and residents, says that the conference helped showcase and educate students and residents about family medicine. He recalls that before the conference began, medical students had very little contact with family physicians.

“By meeting, seeing, and talking with active family physicians from all over the state at our spring Interim Session, students became more interested and impressed with the breadth and diversity of family medicine,” Richmond says. “They also saw the compassion and dedication that each family physician has to their patients and profession.”

Hundreds of students and residents have attended the conference over the last 20 years with topics focused on leadership development, parliamentary procedure, public speaking, international medicine, preparing CVs, interviewing and selecting the right residency program, plus financial management, contract negotiation, and much more. Thank you to the many volunteer faculty who have been part of the program, and the students and residents who have taken time out of their busy schedules to attend and make this program a success.

To current students and residents, plan to attend the 21st annual conference on March 6, 2010 in Austin. Find more information on travel funding and how to register at www.tafp.org/professional-development/cfw.