Medical specialty interest groups are prevalent on medical school campuses across the country, providing forums for students interested in particular areas of medicine. Like other student clubs or activities, these interest groups are student-run with oversight by a faculty advisor. Through these groups, students cultivate their interests and leadership potential, get involved in community service and mentoring activities, and focus on their future as physicians.
Family Medicine Interest Groups (FMIGs) are an excellent resource for students interested in exploring family medicine in an informal, but educational (and fun!) setting. FMIGs provide programming and information that may not be offered in the medical school curriculum. Medical students can hear about the history of family medicine and its future and be exposed to a wide range of clinical skills and procedures important to family physicians.
A national FMIG network facilitates the communication and sharing of best practices between FMIGs across the country. FMIGs engage in many worthwhile activities, such as:
- Collaborating with other interest groups to create programming and to promote events like Primary Care Week, “Cover the Uninsured” Week or and minorities in medicine.
- Participating in community service opportunities, including health fairs and screenings, student-run health clinics, caring for the homeless and visiting children’s hospitals.
- Conducting clinical skills workshops with neighboring medical schools and/or residents and physicians in the community.
FMIGs receive national recognition from the AAFP through the Program of Excellence (PoE) Award and other mechanisms at the National Conference of Family Medicine Residents and Medical Students.
Participation in an FMIG also affords the opportunity for leadership development through a variety of volunteer roles, including president, community service coordinator, and student membership coordinator. Many FMIG leaders go on to hold leadership positions at the state and national levels of the AAFP throughout their careers.
For more information on the value of being involved in the AAFP and other organizations, visit the Get Involved section.