• Center for the History of Family Medicine Student and Resident Essay Contest

    Contest Overview

    The Center for the History of Family Medicine (CHFM) sponsors a contest to encourage medical students and family medicine residents to write scholarly essays relevant to the history of family medicine in the United States.

    The first-place winner will receive $1,000 and the second-place winner will receive a $500 award.

    Eligibility Requirements

    The contest is open to medical students and residents. Medical Students must be a member of the American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP).  Residents must be a member of the American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP) and enrolled in an ACGME accredited family medicine residency training program. Please note that non-winning applicants may apply more than once, provided they still meet all eligibility criteria listed above.

    Essay Requirements

    1.  Only one entry may be submitted per applicant.

    2.  The essay may be on any historical subject related to Family Medicine in the United States. The subject of the historical essay may have national, state, or local relevance. Examples of topic areas include, but are not limited to:

    • development of the specialty of Family Medicine
    • the contributions of a particular individual to the specialty
    • a medical or medical-political controversy within family medicine
    • the impact of social or political change on the specialty
    • documentation of the day-to-day work of a family physician (such as a narrative, written reminiscence, or interpretation of a diary)
    • family physicians’ response to a disease, medical condition, or public health problem.

    3.  The essay should be written in American Medical Association (AMA) style of format. It should not exceed 3,750 words and must be double-spaced with a 12-point font with minimum 1-inch margins, exclusive of reference listing.

    4.  The paper must not be submitted to, or published by, any journal or entered in any other contest prior to submission to the CHFM Essay Contest or during the selection process. Essays that are not selected as winning essays in this competition may be submitted to other contests/publications after the winners are announced.

    5.  All entries must be written in English

    6.  Essays not meeting all requirements will not be accepted.

    Recent Contest Winners


    First Place Winner: Morgan Weiler, MS4
    Essay: First Person Accounts of the Impact COVID-19 had on Kansas Family Physicians and the Communities They Serve

    Second Place Winner: Auguste Niyibizi, D.O.
    Essay: Hard to Stay: Looking to FQHCs as Models for Better Primary Care

    Holdings Catalog

    Take a look at our free and fully searchable PDF catalog Guide to the Collections of the Center for the History of Family Medicine, which features a complete listing of the Center's archival, library, and museum holdings. Guide to the Collections of the Center for the History of Family Medicine(2 MB PDF)

    Our Collections

    Browse a a complete list of the Center's archival, library, online, and museum holdings.

    The Sandra L. Panther Fellowship in the History of Family Medicine

    Program Overview

    The Center for the History of Family Medicine (CHFM) sponsors one Fellowship in the History of Family Medicine each year. The Fellowship supports research using the collections of the CHFM to advance understanding and appreciation of the history of Family Medicine.

    The Sandra L. Panther Fellowship provides a $3,000 award to the fellow after completion of research at the Center for the History of Family Medicine. Awards cover research conducted between June 1 and December 31 during the year in which the Fellowship is awarded.

    We encourage interested researchers, including family physicians, students, residents, historians, scholars, educators, scientists and other health professionals to apply for the Fellowship. Individuals interested in the Fellowship should first consult the Center's Catalog(2 MB PDF) or contact Center staff to explore the collection and its available resources.

    Fellowship Project

    The proposed project may be on any subject relating to the history of general practice, family practice, or Family Medicine, its practitioners, and their role in health and health care in the United States.

    In addition, the proposed project must lead to a durable product in any format (e.g., written report or manuscript, CD/DVD program, audio or video recording including oral history interviews, artwork, etc.) of the applicant's choosing.

    Fellowship Goals

    The goals of the Sandra L. Panther Fellowship in the History of Family Medicine, sponsored by the Center for the History of Family Medicine, are to:

    1. Advance Family Medicine practice, education, research and policy through improved understanding of its history.
    2. Stimulate the use of the Center's collection of materials.
    3. Increase awareness of the Center and its collection among a broad variety of historians, scholars, educators and others.
    4. Add to the fund of knowledge on the history of Family Medicine and related fields.
    5. Stimulate the careers and work of scholars interested in the past and future of Family Medicine.

    Fellowship Rules

    1. The successful applicant will receive a Fellowship award of $3,000. The award will be given to the Fellow after they visit the Center to conduct research for their approved project.
    2. The Fellowship will be awarded directly to the individual applicant and not to the institution where he or she may be employed.
    3. Research related to the project must be conducted between June 1 and December 31 of the Fellowship year. Anytime during that period, research should be conducted onsite at the Center for the History of Family Medicine.
    4. Any publications or productions resulting from work supported by the Fellowship must acknowledge the support received from the Center for the History of Family Medicine.
    5. Fellows must provide a yearly update to the Center regarding any progress or updates regarding their project.
    6. Two copies of such publications or products resulting from the research project must be submitted to the Center for the History of Family Medicine at the conclusion of the research project.
    7. All submissions of materials by Fellows will be deemed to be donations to the holdings of the Center for the History of Family Medicine as unconditional and unrestricted gifts, which may be made available to researchers, reproduced or otherwise used or disposed of as the Center deems appropriate.

    Application Details

    Recent Fellows



    Masahiro Morikawa, MD, MPH
    Project: “Reassessing the Meaning of ‘Family’ in Family Medicine” is focused on reviewing the origin of family medicine as a specialty to analyze whether the concept is still relevant in current practice and to identify critical elements that need to be incorporated in training the future generation of family physicians.

    2020 (Joint Fellows)

    Aaron George, DO & Allyssa Abel, MPH
    Project: “Reinvigorating the Visions of the Founders of Family Medicine” a project connecting with and interviewing many of the founders and early leaders of the discipline of family medicine. The intent is to understand the roots of the profession, trajectory, and path over the past five decades, and the direction family medicine should seek from here. By conducting this series of stimulating interviews with family medicine’s most influential historical figures, as well as having today’s young leaders of family medicine reflecting upon and writing about them, the hope is to put younger cohorts of family physicians in touch with the founders’ energy and vision.


    Timothy Hoff, PhD
    Project: “The Family Physician Career Evolution Study: A Multi-Level Analysis,” will examine the current evolution of family medicine careers through a multi-level analysis that includes 80-100 in-depth interviews with family physicians at all career stages, and archival analysis focused on select materials found at the Center for History in Family Medicine.


    Kate Rowland, MD, MS
    Project: “Histories and Stories as Antidote for Modern Family Medicine Challenges” will analyze family medicine’s response to previous instances of change, challenge,s and hard times and use oral and written histories to identify how family physicians have responded to those challenges. 

    2017 (Joint Fellows)

    Amna Choudry, MD, MPH
    Project: “The Evolution of Rural Family Medicine from Origins to Present, and Future Direction,” a project to provide insight into current problems in rural medicine and assess the difficulties and possible solutions to common problems in rural medicine. The culmination of this project will serve as an environmental scan and as a resource to provide guidance and insight to future rural physicians.

    Terrence Steyer, MD
    Project: “Establishing an Academic Base for Family Medicine: The MUSC Story,” a study which seeks to accomplish three objectives: 1) To describe the evolution of the department of family medicine at the Medical University of South Carolina from time of the first proposal to establishment as department; 2) To use historical data to develop an understanding of the development of family medicine at academic medical centers, using MUSC as a case study; and 3) To promote the continued need for academic departments of family medicine using a historical context.

    2016 (Joint Fellows)

    David Charles Henderson, MD
    Project: “Where did the Family Go? Revitalizing Family-Centered Care in Family Medicine,” a study to update Dr. Roy Gerard’s 1998 work The Conscience of Medicine: A History of Family Practice in Michigan by including Dr. Gerard’s own life story as a family physician and by incorporating the thoughts and philosophies of his contemporaries.

    Kent J. Sheets, PhD, 
    Project: “The Early History of Academic Departments of Family Medicine: Common Themes," a project to study the history of the University of Michigan Department of Family Medicine, as well as themes linking what he’s learning about his own department to the development of other academic departments across the country at roughly the same period of time.

    Board of Curators

    About the Board

    The Board of Curators for the Center for the History of Family Medicine (CHFM) advises the AAFP Foundation on the overall planning and administration of the History Center and recommends to the AAFP Foundation's Board of Trustees policies governing the scope of the History Center and access to its collections.

    2022 Members of the Board of Curators

    Renee Markovich, MD, Uniontown, Ohio

    Mary F. Campagnolo, MD, MBA, FAAFP, Bordentown, New Jersey
    AAFP Liason

    Richard D. Feldman, MDFAAFP, Indianapolis, Indiana 
    At-Large Representative, 2016-2022

    Michael O. Fleming, MD, FAAFP, Shreveport, Louisiana
    At-Large Representative, 2017-2023

    Lucius "Luke" Lampton, MD, Magnolia, Mississippi 
    At-Large Representative, 2019-2022

    Justin Bartos, MD, Belford,Texas
    AAFP Foundation Liason

    James E. Froelich, III, DO, FACOFP, Bonham, Texas
    ACOFP Liaison

    Elizabeth A. Garrett, MD, MSPH, Columbia, Missouri
    ABFM Liaison

    Dennis Gingrich, MD, FAAFP, Hershey, Pennsylvania
    AAFP Liaison

    Warren Jones, MD, FAAFP, Ridgeland, Mississippi
    At-Large Representative, 2022-2024

    Rick Kellerman, MD, FAAFP, Wichita, Kansas
    ADFM Liaison

    Marci Nielsen, Ph.D., MPH, Washington, D.C.
    Public Trustee

    Christina Pedro, MD, MBA, Mishawaka, Indiana
    Resident Representative

    John Saultz, MD, Portland, Oregon
    STFM Liaison

    Kelly G. Ussery-Kronhaus, MD, Brick, New Jersey
    AFMRD Liaison

    David R. Smith, MD, MPH, FAAFP, Waunakee, Wisconsin
    Ex-Officio Member (AAFP Foundation President, 2022)

    About the Center

    What is the Center for the History of Family Medicine?

    The Center for the History of Family Medicine (CHFM) is the primary repository of information and resources on the history and evolution of general practice, family practice and the specialty of family medicine in the United States.

    As such, the Center fills three roles in one:

    • A historical research library, holding published works on family medicine as well as books by or about family physicians
    • An archive, serving as the official repository for both the records of the major family medicine organizations and leaders within the specialty
    • A museum, featuring artifacts and exhibits from the earliest days of general practice up to the present day's specialty of family medicine

    What organizations are documented in the CHFM?

    The CHFM serves as the official historical repository for the following Family Medicine organizations:

    • The American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP)
    • The American Academy of Family Physicians Foundation (AAFP Foundation)
    • The American Board of Family Medicine (ABFM)
    • The American College of Osteopathic Family Physicians (ACOFP)
    • The Association of Departments of Family Medicine (ADFM)
    • The Association of Family Medicine Residency Directors (AFMRD)
    • The North American Primary Care Research Group (NAPCRG)
    • The Society of Teachers of Family Medicine (STFM)

    In addition, the CHFM collections document some of the smaller ancillary Family Medicine organizations, such as the Association of Family Medicine Administration (AFMA) and the Family Medicine Residency Nurses Association (FMRNA). The CHFM collections also document the Family Medicine Working Party and some international associations, such as the International Center for Family Medicine (ICFM) and the World Organization of National Colleges, Academies and Academic Associations of General Practitioners/Family Physicians/World Organization of Family Doctors (WONCA).

    Is the CHFM open to the public?

    Yes, the CHFM is open from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. CST, Monday through Friday. Arrangements may be made to use CHFM's resources at other times by special appointment.  Feel free to contact the CHFM staff at any time with your questions or to make an appointment.

    Center for the History of Family Medicine
    11400 Tomahawk Creek Parkway
    Leawood, KS 66211-2672
    Toll-free: (800) 274-2237, ext. 6004
    Phone: (913) 906-6004
    Fax: (913) 906-6095
    Email: chfm@aafp.org

    Do you have a list or description of your collection holdings available?

    Yes. You can access a free, downloadable, and fully searchable PDF version of our catalog here(2 MB PDF). The Guide features a complete listing of the Center's archival, library and museum holdings.

    Does the CHFM accept donations of materials?

    Yes, we accept donations of items from individuals and organizations related to family medicine, family physicians and family medicine leaders and educators. Please contact the CHFM before sending materials, to determine if they fit our scope of the collection and to make arrangements for donation and transfer. 

    When did Family Medicine become a specialty?

    Family Medicine (then known as family practice) officially became a medical specialty in the United States on February 8, 1969, when the amended final application was approved by the Advisory Board for Medical Specialties and the AMA Council on Medical Education in Chicago. This approval empowered the American Board of Family Practice (now the American Board of Family Medicine) to conduct examinations and to grant certification to family physicians.

    Where can I find a list of the founding dates of Family Medicine organizations?

    Founding Dates of the Eight Major Family Medicine Organizations(1 page PDF).

    Where can I find a summary of the history of Family Medicine?

    The CHFM has several excellent resources on the history of family medicine.

    If you need additional information on the history of family medicine, please contact the CHFM.

    Which Family Medicine residency was the first one in operation?

    This is a common, but difficult question to answer. Many residencies were established before family practice (now Family Medicine) was designated a medical specialty in 1969. Some were operating as general practice residencies, and then were converted to family practice once the "Essentials of an Approved Family Practice Residency" were in place.

    In December 1968, a modified application for a primary certifying board in family practice was submitted to the Advisory Board for Medical Specialties and the AMA Council on Medical Education. As part of that application, 15 pilot residencies were listed that conformed to the new "Essentials." The 15 residencies listed on that application are generally considered to be the "first approved" family practice residencies. The First Fifteen Family Medicine Residency Programs(2 page PDF).

    Where can I find a list of all of the AAFP Scientific Assemblies (now known as FMX-Family Medicine Experience)?

    Scientific Assemblies of the American Academy of Family Physicians(2 page PDF) (2-page PDF file).

    Donate to the Center

    The Center for the History of Family Medicine (CHFM) seeks both monetary and material donations. It is administered by the American Academy of Family Physicians Foundation, a non-profit, charitable 501(c)(3) organization. 

    Make a Monetary Donation

    Established in 1992 to preserve the historical value and evolution of the specialty of family medicine, the Center for the History of Family Medicine Endowment ensures that the history of our specialty will survive for generations to come. The CHFM collection includes decades of documents, photographs, artifacts, and memorabilia that are professionally cataloged and preserved in a climate-controlled environment.

    The CHFM Endowment, a long-term growth fund, has grown since its establishment in 1998. With the Endowment’s continued growth and donor support, the Center for the History of Family Medicine will eventually become self-supporting and self-sustaining.

    To make a donation to the Center’s Endowment, complete our online donation form and designate your gift to “Center for the History of Family Medicine.”

    Make a Material Donation

    The CHFM actively collects a wide variety of materials that document the history and development of Family Medicine. Some examples of these unique items include personal correspondence, diaries, sound recordings, books, journals, reports and artifacts that have a connection to Family Medicine's rich history. If you are interested in making a donation, please read more on the Center's donation policies and guidelines or contact the Center with any questions.