AAFP's National Conference for Students & Residents
I, NAFP Staff Member, Jen Brady, had the privilege to attend the AAFP’s National Conference for Family Medicine Residents and Students this year from July 27th to 29th. The conference was an opportunity for attendees to convene in the heart of the Midwest, explore modern medical practices and topics, and network with peers. As the Communications Coordinator here at the NAFP, I hoped to do just the same.
When I arrived to the Kansas City Convention Center on Thursday, July 27th, I was blown away by the sheer size of the conference. At any given time, an attendee could choose from over 10 different educational sessions, sit in on the student or resident congress, or make their way up to the exhibit hall. I made it a goal to see a little of everything while I was there, so I began my day sitting in on a FMIG Basics session. This session helped me understand what other FMIG groups across the country were doing in terms of programming, involvement with the Academy in their state, and recruiting. I look forward to applying and sharing what I learned with the Nebraska FMIG groups at Creighton and UNMC!
After the conclusion of this session, I made my way up to the exhibit hall. The exhibit hall was home to over 400 residency programs, hospital systems, and other health organizations, which made it an incredibly valuable networking opportunity for residents, students, and chapter staff alike. It was great seeing familiar faces from the Lincoln and Creighton residency programs, as well as groups who have exhibited at our Nebraska meetings, within the exhibit hall.
Later in the day, I ventured over to the student and resident congresses where the elected leaders from 2016 were orienting the elected student and resident delegates. For those who are unfamiliar, the congress is a unique leadership forum for residents and students to discuss their concerns and influence AAFP policies, programs, and services. The AAFP describes it as “hands-on leader training”. While any conference attendee is able to participate in the congress activities, only the elected delegates are able to vote. For Nebraska, Hannah Luksa served as our Student Delegate and Dr. Brett Wergin served as our Resident Delegate. Reports on their experiences will be shared in the next issue of this magazine!
For the remainder of the conference (which ran through Saturday morning), I continued to explore the various opportunities the AAFP made available. Friday night even included a celebration event for all attendees, which was held in the historic Arvest Bank Theatre at The Midland. Overall, the conference was an extremely enjoyable way for me to network with our Nebraska students and residents all while learning more about the field of Family Medicine. I cannot thank the AAFP enough for sponsoring me to attend this conference, and Liz and Linda (NAFP staff) who supported me in attending and helped prepare me for the trip. I am incredibly grateful for the opportunities, relationships, and knowledge I gained through this experience!