I have the privilege of serving on the board of the Family Medicine Education Consortium as a member-at-large.
Who is the FMEC? Well, we're a not-for-profit corporation that incubates ideas, connects people, and catalyzes healthcare change in the NE region of the US. Our website states that we...
- Support programs and services that promote medical student interest in Family Medicine
- Stimulate the recruitment and development of Family Medicine faculty
- Facilitate relationships that lead to scholarly efforts relevant to Family Physicians
- Create coalitions among those who wish to increase the number of Family Physicians in the U.S.
We also sponsor an annual meeting where 1000+ people interested in FM, or affiliated with FM programs, gather to network, present curricular innovations, and share clinical research. The meeting also includes the second-largest annual residency fair in the country.
Nearly 300 medical students attended our meeting last year. In many medical schools, Family Medicine is marginalized. Students considering FM careers are frequently told that they are "too smart" to be a family doc. At the annual FMEC meeting, students experience FM's vibrancy. Their career plans are often set or affirmed; two-thirds of the students who attend eventually match in Family Medicine, and the rest comment that they have an new appreciation for their Family Medicine colleagues.
Every medical student who attends the meeting does so for free, minus the cost of transportation. FMEC provides scholarships to cover their hotel rooms, conference fees, and all meals. The generosity of corporate and individual donors covers the cost of these scholarships.
If you've not heard of the FMEC before, I invite you to learn more about us at www.fmec.net. We believe in KAFM - Kick ass Family Medicine!
Perhaps you might come to our annual meeting (this year in Cleveland, Sept 28-30) to present, host a booth at the residency fair, or just bask in the spirit of KAFM. Perhaps you, or the folks you work with/for, might even be interested in sponsoring a student (or 2 or 10...) and/or one of our initiatives.*
The ultimate goal of the FMEC is a simple one - to improve the health of the people we serve. Family docs can't afford to not participate in determining the future of health care in this country.
We have a critically important voice to add to the conversation, and organizations like the FMEC help to broadcast that voice loud and clear.
* http://fmec.net/projects/index.php Interested in knowing more? Please send me a direct message on Twitter: @SingingPenDrJen or leave a request for more info below. (I sponsored 2 scholarships last year myself, for the record.)