In 2020, for the first time in its 46-year history, the AAFP National Conference will be a virtual event: The decision to hold the July 30-Aug.1 conference online reflects concerns for the well-being of attendees given the COVID-19 health crisis.
“While we will miss seeing residents and medical students in person, the change does give us an opportunity to reach even more future family physicians,” said Julie Anderson, MD, president of the AAFP Foundation. “With travel-related expenses cut, we can make our donors’ funds go further, and award additional scholarships to help cover the conference registration fees.”
The AAFP National Conference gives residents and medical students the opportunity to learn more about family medicine, develop leadership skills, explore residency programs, and network with peers and potential employers. In past years, the AAFP Foundation has provided 250 Family Medicine Leads Scholarships to help students experience the conference. This year, the Foundation expects to award 750 Family Medicine Leads Scholarships.
Scholarship recipients are chosen, in part, from their responses to essay questions. Their answers, such as those below, offer hope that America will meet the need to have 25% of U.S. medical students choose family medicine by 2030; currently, the rate is less than half that.
“I love the idea of being able to take care of patients from cradle to grave and think it's amazing that one can provide what many would consider specialty services while simultaneously providing all the patient's other primary care needs.”
“What continually surprises me most about family medicine are the limitless possibilities.”
“I am excited to attend educational sessions to broaden my knowledge as well as learn about all the available opportunities in family medicine. I cannot wait to learn all that I can about family medicine and to start generating ideas for my future practice!”
The application period for scholarships will open again on June 1, and the Foundation continues to build the Family Medicine Leads Scholarship fund. Donations can be made at aafpfoundation.org/fmleads.