The Georgia Academy of Family Physicians (GAFP) wishes to congratulate Katie Lively (Medical College of Georgia, Southwest Clinical Campus), Michael Brackett and Zachary Harrison (both at the Medical College of Georgia – Augusta University Campus) whom our medical student body membership has elected as their 2023 representatives to the Board of Directors, and to Shant Ohanian, Amanda Lilley, and Tucker Hickox (all at the Medical College of Georgia, Athens campus) who were elected as Student Director Alternate Board members.
Katie Lively states that, as a budding family physician and lifelong Georgia resident, she is very eager to serve on the GAFP Medical Student Board of Directors and represent student voices while further developing as a leader in family medicine. Through this experience she believes that she will become better familiarized with the inner workings of GAFP and learn how to effectively collaborate with other members and entities to influence advancements in practice, patient care, and health equity.
Michael Brackett says that he has lived in Georgia his entire life and has personally seen the intense need for primary care. He has also unfortunately seen so many of his classmates gravitate away from primary care for various reasons. As a third-year student, he believes fostering interest in Family Medicine is a topic that their six member positions could really focus on and have direct experience with. He will work hard in this position to continue improving student interest in family medicine.
Zachary Harrison noted that he recently completed his 3rd year clinical rotations and fell in love with Family Medicine, declaring it as his specialty of choice. He is particularly passionate about advocating for our patients at both a personal and system-wide level, ensuring all Georgians have equitable access to high-quality, affordable care. He is interested in participating on the GAFP Board to advocate for Family Medicine in our state and provide a physician-in-training’s perspective on the challenges facing the profession.
Shant Ohanian says that he has been looking for every opportunity to learn and grow as a future family physician. He attended the GAFP annual CME meeting this year and listened in on the Board of Directors meeting and Congress of Delegates. He believes in the power of enthusiastic physician leadership in medicine. He plans to be engaged at the state and National level later in his career and is eager to begin this journey now as a student! He believes he can bring a new and fresh perspective to the GAFP both as a student and newcomer to family medicine.
Amanda Lilley is really interested in advocating for her peers and for the population. A big part of their curriculum is small group learning, which gives students the chance to apply what they are learning to real situations. Through these cases, important conversations are started, such as how they would treat a patient who cannot afford medications or therapy, or how to handle emotional cases such as the death of a patient. They have also discussed in some part health policy, which affects drug costs, mandatory reporting laws for interpersonal violence, Medicaid qualifications, and more.
Tucker Hickox says that as an aspiring family medicine physician from rural north Georgia, he has always intended to return to his mountain town and start a practice one day. He has seen firsthand how a doctor in a small town naturally finds themselves in a leadership position and the outsized positive impact that confers. Serving his community in north Georgia is his foremost intention, and the opportunity to see what physician leadership at the state level looks like would be invaluable to his aspirations.
GAFP also wishes to congratulate the following residents for their newly elected board positions: Shantrice Appleby, M.D. (Morehouse School of Medicine) who was elected to be the new 2023 Resident Voting Director, Teresa Colon-Asumu, M.D. (Emory School of Medicine) elected as the new Alternate Director 2023 and Voting Director 2024 and Sydney Koenig-McRae, M.D. (Memorial Health University Medical Center/Mercer University) elected as the new 2023 Alternate Director 2023.
Nijah Burris, M.D.
Nijah Burris, M.D. (Morehouse School of Medicine), was elected last year to a two-year term and will return as a Resident Voting Director this year.
Shantrice Appleby, M.D.
Shantrice Appleby, M.D. believes that participating on the GAFP board of directors “is a great way to collaborate with trainees and physician throughout Georgia, learn about strengths present in different regions of the state and weakness as well so that we can work together to improve clinical training, the service we provide to communities and things we advocate for on local and state level.”
Teresa Colon-Asumu, M.D.
Teresa Colon-Asumu, M.D. chose family medicine as a specialty due to the comprehensive approach it allows you to take in order to really serve patients. She has a background in public health and has always believed firmly in the importance of all aspects of health. She strives to understand the social determinants that serve as barriers for our communities to attain overall wellness.
Sydney Koenig-McRae, M.D.
Sydney Koenig-McRae, M.D. stated that, “as family doctors, we know that our patients’ health isimpacted by so much more than just medications and treatments. They struggle against transportation issues, insurance coverage, and even access to safe homes and healthy foods – all things that we can advocate for to our state and nation.” She believes that to “do right by our patients means we are willing to get involved in these law-making processes that regulate not only their health care but their home lives.”
Welcome and congratulations to our students and residents in their new leadership roles!