What do superheroes and the Bahamas have in common?
This hard-working, hard-driven Nassau native brings heroic energy to all he does: He’s a fourth-year medical student at the American University of Integrative Sciences in Barbados, a Family Medicine Leads Emerging Leader Institute scholar, a graduate student working toward his master of public health degree, and the newly installed student trustee on the AAFP Foundation Board of Trustees.
Why take on so many responsibilities at such a young age?
“In the Caribbean culture, we are pushed to get out there and excel,” Munroe says. “I wasn’t sure if I wanted to be a doctor, or if I was just being pushed in that direction. But once I saw family physicians in action, I thought, ‘Oh, these doctors are the superheroes of medicine. They’re out in the community, making connections with people.’ That’s what medicine is all about, especially in a pandemic.”
Growing up in the Bahamas sparked Munroe’s passion to fight health inequities and improve access to healthcare and information. Now, as a member of the AAFP Foundation Board of Trustees, he plans to share the unique perspective medical students bring to the profession.
“Medical students often feel like we don’t have a voice,” Munroe says. “Leadership and advocacy are foreign concepts to many who hope to create change within our specialty, but at times can feel dwarfed by the titan that is organized medicine.
“My goal is to continue to advance the values of family medicine through harnessing the intellect and diversity encompassed by the medical students that make up our great specialty.”
Ultimately, Munroe says, he hopes to encourage other students to not only find their voice but raise their voice – and then take the reins and lead. He also hopes to encourage established family physicians to reach out and mentor the next generation.
It’s a “360 degree approach” that directly reflects his upbringing and his future.
“In the Caribbean, we’re taught that we’re only as strong as our weakest link, so it’s important to raise everyone up,” he says. “It is my belief that the ideals and mission of the AAFP Foundation are vital to achieving the goal of creating the next generation of physician-citizens leading the charge of change through the 21st century and beyond. And it is my vocation to continue this mission.”