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August 3, 2017 - USA’s Family Medicine Interest Group Recognized for Excellence
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FMIG_POE[1].jpgThe University of South Alabama College of Medicine Family Medicine Interest Group (FMIG) recently received the 2017 Program of Excellence Award from the American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP) at the AAFP National Conference of Family Medicine Residents and Medical Students in Kansas City.

This year, the AAFP presented 17 medical schools with FMIG Program of Excellence Awards in recognition of their outstanding activities in generating interest in family medicine. The USA College of Medicine FMIG received a categorical award for their excellence in collaboration.

“The interest group has done a great job staying active and increasing awareness about family medicine. This award is a reflection of their hard work and dedication,” said Dr. Carol Motley, associate professor of family medicine at the USA College of Medicine and a family medicine physician with USA Health.

According to Charlotte Linder, a third-year student at the USA College of Medicine and last year’s president of FMIG, the interest group has hosted workshops, participated in competitions and enforced outreach programs to educate medical students about the vast career options available in family medicine.

Linder, who also serves as president of the student chapter of the Alabama Academy of Family Physicians, said the interest group’s collaboration with the Alabama College of Osteopathic Medicine played a huge part in winning the program of excellence award.

Linder said the USA College of Medicine opened the FMIG to 60 osteopathic students in Mobile. “The outreach initiative to include local osteopathic students in our FMIG came about because I wanted to help encourage all students who had an interest in family medicine,” she said. “Osteopathic schools typically have a high number of students who go into family medicine and primary care. Unfortunately, FMIGs are not as popular at osteopathic schools, and students often miss out on a lot of opportunities.”

The group also collaborated with other interest groups to help sponsor the annual Gumbo Chili Showdown. The event is in honor of Regan Robinson Young, a student at the USA College of Medicine who passed away a few months before graduation.

“Regan hoped to become a family physician and was even accepted into the USA family medicine residency program, so we thought this was the perfect event to participate in,” Linder said. “Connor Kimbrell, a third-year medical student at the USA College of Medicine, was instrumental in helping FMIG participate in such a meaningful contest. This event goes toward a good cause while also providing a casual environment for FMIG members to interact with other students, interest groups, and the faculty advisor.”

Elisabeth Potts, a second-year student at the USA College of Medicine, recently was appointed president of FMIG. “I was honored to be a part of the group representing the USA College of Medicine’s FMIG at this year’s national conference,” she said. “Last year’s FMIG officers were passionate about family medicine, and their hard work has earned our group this distinction.”

Potts said she is excited to fulfill her role as president. “I am proud of the accomplishments our FMIG has achieved over the past year, and I am excited to work with this year’s FMIG officers to continue the precedent that has been set,” she said.

FMIGs are medical-school sponsored, student- and faculty-run organizations that give medical students a chance to learn more about family medicine through regular meetings, workshops, leadership development opportunities, and community and clinical experiences.

The mission of the USA College of Medicine FMIG is to provide students with a complete knowledge of family medicine and encourage it as career path while providing opportunities to enhance student’s technical skills and contact with patients.

To join FMIG, contact Charlotte C.C. Linder at ccl1321@jagmail.southalabama.edu or to learn more about the FMIG at the USA College of Medicine, click here.

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