Family Medicine Leads Emerging Leader Institute

Application Details

The 2019 application period is closed. If you're interested in applying for 2020, first read the eligibility and guidelines. 

Read Eligibility and Program Guidelines.

Emerging Leader Definition: An emerging leader is an individual who has shown historical aptitude for leadership and has exhibited to others a strong potential for future leadership.  An emerging leader has little formal training or experience with leadership and is motivated to gain additional leadership skills and experience.


The year-long Family Medicine Leads (FML) Emerging Leader Institute focuses on ensuring the future of the Family Medicine specialty by increasing the number of future Family Medicine leaders and provides training for this important role. We encourage all to apply who meet our definition of an emerging leader and are committed to the development of future Family Medicine leaders who reflect the rich diversity of the specialty and the patients served.

Family Medicine residents in their first or second year, and medical students in their second, third, or fourth year when the program begins are eligible to apply. All applicants must be members of the American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP) to apply.

Participation begins at the AAFP National Conference of Family Medicine Residents and Medical Students, in Kansas City, Missouri, where the 30 selected residents and students will learn more about Family Medicine, explore residency programs, make connections, and learn about leadership opportunities with the Student and Resident Congress. Directly following the AAFP National Conference, the FML Emerging Leader Institute conducts in-depth workshops in three leadership tracks: Policy & Public Health, Personal & Practice and Philanthropic & Mission-Driven held at the AAFP National Headquarters in Leawood, Kansas on Saturday and Sunday. Dates are July 25-28, 2019

The participants will receive the following:

  • A scholarship of $1,000 to attend AAFP National Conference in Kansas City, Missouri and participate in the FML Emerging Leader Institute held at the AAFP National Headquarters in Leawood, Kansas. The scholarship is intended to help reduce out-of-pocket expenses (registration, travel, lodging, meals).
  • An AAFP family physician mentor, who will serve as a role model, provide monthly guidance and project support.
  • The opportunity to develop and complete a Leadership Project of your choice related to your leadership track (due March).
  • Additional opportunities to receive: 
    • $1,000 for Leadership Project Award winner to return to the next National Conference and present his or her project and participate in FML Emerging Leader Institute related activities.
    • $3,000 for Best Leadership Project Award winner to attend a special Family Medicine opportunity

If awarded an AAFP Foundation FML Emerging Leader Institute Scholarship, participation is from July 25, 2019, to August 2, 2020, or longer, depending on whether scholar receives Leadership Project Award(s).

Leadership Program Tracks

The program features the following three tracks (10 participants in each):

  • Policy & Public Health: Learning key strategies to move our specialty into a position to optimize the future health of America— both broadly and within local communities.
    • Effective leadership skills in policy and public health
    • Improve population health
    • Current AAFP policy and public health focus
    • Roles and strategies to engage in policy interventions
    • Effective community health engagement
  • Personal & Practice: Remaining effective and focused as you transition to greater levels of responsibility, autonomy, and expectations.
    • Personal leadership "toolbox"
    • Key trends in practice management and leadership opportunities
    • Strategies for burn-out avoidance
    • Work/life balance
    • Integrate high level healthcare thinking into your work
  • Philanthropic & Mission-Driven: Maximizing your impact as a physician leader as you increase your income, gain professional respect, and choose among many organizational opportunities for involvement.
    • Strategies for becoming a "change agent" in your community
    • Your personal mission statement
    • Leadership; competencies and skills "gap"
    • Non-profits and your philanthropic goals
    • Understanding non-profits

Leadership Projects

During the year-long program (between the 2019 and the 2020 AAFP National Conferences), each FML Emerging Leader Institute participant completes a leadership project relevant to his or track and works with a family physician mentor, who will serve as a role model and provide monthly guidance and support with the project.

While completing the project, the Scholars will be responsible for:

  • Communicating monthly with assigned mentor.
  • Meeting deadlines.
  • Submitting all deliverables and final project electronically. Late project submissions will not be considered for project awards.
  • Completing project on deadline. Failure to complete project will result in consequences.

Leadership Project Awards

Once complete, the 30 leadership projects will be evaluated by the Family Medicine Leads Work Group, which is a subgroup of the AAFP Foundation Board of Trustees. Selected recipients will receive a Leadership Project Award in each of the three tracks.

The Leadership Project Award in the amount of $1,000 provides funding for recipients to return to the following year’s AAFP National Conference of Family Medicine Residents and Students and present and showcase their projects. 

Best Leadership Project Awards

One leadership project from each program track will be evaluated and selected by the Family Medicine Leads Work Group to receive a Best Leadership Project Award. These recipients will receive an additional $3,000 award to attend a special opportunity related to their leadership track.

Application Details

The 2019 application period is closed. If you're interested in applying for 2020, first read the eligibility and guidelines. 

Read Eligibility and Program Guidelines.

Become a Mentor

If you are interested in serving as a mentor for the Family Medicine Leads Emerging Leader Institute, please contact the AAFP Foundation.

Learn more about the mentor/mentee relationship.

Funds & Endowments That Support This Program

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