At the annual AAFP Student and Resident National Conference in Kansas City, students come from all over the United States to meet with and learn about residency programs prior to the match. This is a really important conference that helps attract top students to come to Utah for residency and then stay to work as family physicians.
Each year, we sponsor and provide funds for a student and resident delegate to the National Conference Congress. This year’s student delegate was Austin White, a student at Rocky Vista Osteopathic College of Medicine, and our resident delegate was Jordan Rawlings from the Utah Valley Family Medicine Residency. We also provide stipends that help our Utah students afford to attend, providing eight student scholarships this year. As we work to increase our foundation funding, we hope to keep growing the number of students we can help attend.
We’ve really upped our game and have been creating a cohesive and collaborative presentation of the four Utah residencies with banners that showcase the beauty of our state and fun activities to engage students. The following are updates from the student delegate and the resident delegate.
Austin White, OMS IV — Rocky Vista University College of Osteopathic Medicine — UAFP Student Delegate
Utah was well-represented by its medical students at the AAFP National Conference for students and residents in Kansas City, MO, this July. As students, we had the opportunity to engage in educational sessions, participate in leadership opportunities, and meet with family medicine residency programs from around the country. In total, we had 15 students representing Utah’s three medical schools.
I am grateful for and humbled by the opportunity given to me by the UAFP to represent student interests this year at the National Congress of Student Members (NCSM). The Utah delegation was active in the authorship of three resolutions presented to the congress, and we were able to give testimony regarding several more. Some of the resolutions adopted by the student congress address the following:
- Advocating for physician-led healthcare and addressing independent practice by NPs and PAs
- Expanding rural training options for medical students and residents
- Regulation of direct-entry midwife practice
- Expanding learning opportunities in integrative medicine
- Increasing access to genetic screening for cancer
- Diaper accessibility for low-income families
- Advocating for full insurance coverage of USPSTF grade A & B screening recommendations
- Promotion of “Walk with a Doc” and similar initiatives
- Patient education regarding deceptive organizations posing as reproductive health clinics
These resolutions have been submitted to the AAFP for them to adopt or reject as they see fit. At that point, adopted resolutions will be available for review on the AAFP website.
Jordan Rawlings, MD — Utah Valley Family Medicine Residency — UAFP Resident Delegate
Having never been to the AAFP National Conference before, I was awestruck to see the quantity and quality of family medicine programs across the country that had all convened to celebrate and promote the future of family medicine. It truly was a sight to see and experience. I had been to state conferences before, specifically in North Carolina, which were such a great learning opportunity that provided both networking and inspiration to pursue a career in family medicine. This was like that state conference on steroids! Participating as a delegate provided me with a close-up opportunity to see the passion that our leaders have for the field of family medicine. Together with students, other residents and attendings, we engaged in workshops, connected with peers and experts, explored cutting-edge research and best practices and, perhaps most importantly, formed lasting connections that will likely define my career as a compassionate and competent family medicine physician.