• The California Academy of Family Physicians (CAFP) Foundation believes in, “Investing in the Future of Family Medicine.” In 2020, the CAFP Foundation’s innovative approach to realizing that goal led to award-winning success: the California Family Medicine Chief Residents Workshop has been honored as the Outstanding Program of the Year by the AAFP Foundation.

    Dr. Marianne McKennett, president of the CAFP Foundation, says she’s amazed at how quickly the program came together as the COVID-19 pandemic halted large, face-to-face gatherings.

    “When we lost the ability to be together with residents and medical students, we were disappointed we couldn’t connect in person, but the Foundation team saw it as an opportunity to do something new and creative,” McKennett says. “The great idea for the Chief Residents Workshop came up in May 2020, and the whole workshop came together in about four to six weeks.”

    CAFP Foundation leaders, working with staff from the CAFP and a number of California family medicine residency programs and practices, created a two-day, eight-hour, virtual event that attracted more than 80 participants. The workshop, funded by the CAFP Foundation, focused on leadership, conflict management, organization, and teaching. Activities included:

    • A panel discussion with outgoing chief residents
    • Presentations by expert faculty
    • Group problem-solving exercises using case scenarios
    • Reflection activities on wellness and resilience
    • Practice techniques to manage conflict and build teams.

    The workshop objectives align with the mission of the AAFP Foundation, most notably the value of promoting educational initiatives that improve the health of all people.

    Staying connected

    One measure of the program’s success is its staying power. Determined to keep connections created during the workshop, the chief residents are now using the CAFP Spark platform to maintain an online community where they discuss issues, share ideas, and support each other.

    Can an idea that worked in California work in your community? 

    “The Family Medicine Chief Residents Workshop is a model of multidisciplinary effort, and hopefully one that could be shared with other state chapters,” McKennett says. “This award is an incredible honor and validates our collaborative work.”