Need a Reason to Attend the AAFP National Conference? Here Are Five

As one of the newly appointed Family Medicine Interest Group (FMIG) Coordinators for the David Geffen School of Medicine in the spring of 2011, I was anticipating an eventful year of promoting and learning more about family medicine through workshop planning, networking, and service in the community. In addition, I was excited for the National Conference of Family Medicine Residents and Medical Students in Kansas City, MO at the end of July. CAFP provides scholarships to first-time conference attendees, and I was selected as one of the recipients. I was looking forward to networking with other FMIG leadership, attending the CAFP reception, receiving the Program of Excellence Award for our FMIG, visiting the highly regarded residency fair and traveling to Kansas City for the first time, among many other things.

The weekend came and went, and I had an absolutely wonderful experience at the conference – one that only strengthened my interest in family medicine.  The various aspects of the conference I enjoyed most include:

No. 5: Kansas City

The downtown area of Kansas City was a pleasant surprise! From the delicious barbeque to the spirited nightlife of the Power and Lights district in the heart of downtown, Kansas City is a great host city and offers many attractions outside of the conference.

No. 4: Networking with Students at the FMIG Breakfast

The conversation and collaboration between FMIG students over an early breakfast was great. The event was a helpful way to share ideas for the academic year.

No. 3: Spending Time with the People Who You Traveled With to the Conference

Whether it’s your fellow classmates or board members for your school’s FMIG, the conference was a wonderful opportunity to spend time with peers while exploring the conference and the city. The weekend was an excellent preview of experiences that came during the year as we continued to work with each other learning about how to champion family medicine.

No. 2: The CAFP Reception

This was an excellent opportunity to hear from CAFP. In a very intimate setting, there was an opportunity to meet other medical students, residents, residency program and fellowship program directors and various physicians from across the state. This informal event was an excellent opportunity to establish helpful contacts for FMIG events during the year.

No. 1: The Residency Program Exhibition Fair

The exhibition hall featured rows beyond rows of residency programs from around the country. Many programs featured enthusiastic residents and highlighted characteristics that made their program unique. This was another excellent opportunity to establish helpful contacts with residency programs for future FMIG events.

The National Conference of Family Medicine Residents and Medical Students was an amazing experience. I urge all those who have never experienced the conference to attend. Especially if you have a leadership role in an FMIG or have even the slightest interest in family medicine, you will not regret attending the conference. With so much to offer its attendees, the conference is an excellent resource in which to explore family medicine, gain useful tools to run a successful FMIG for the year, and engage with dynamic leaders in the field of family medicine.

If you are interested in attending this year’s conference (July 26-28), contact CAFP Student and Resident Affairs Coordinator Cody Mitcheltree at cmitcheltree@familydocs.org.

Author: Yemi Ajiroutu

Yemi Ajiroutu is a fourth-year student at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA.

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