Georgia Dreams Big at the National Conference for Students and Residents

Georgia, along with family medicine residency programs from twenty-five additional states, set up decorative booths at the Kansas City Convention Center July 27th-29th to attract medical student candidates to Georgia to attend their residency in our state.  Current residents from our programs were there to offer information and share their passion for family medicine with medical students, who were excited and energetic about family medicine and the future.  The steady stream of medical students visiting the Georgia programs was non-stop for three days, and our programs engaged with hundreds of prospective applicants where they united to create a strong presence to the students.

In addition, we had representation in both the resident and student categories.  Drs. Monique Merritt-Atkins from the Morehouse School of Medicine Program in Atlanta and Jessica Brumfield from the Georgia South Family Medicine Residency at Colquitt Regional Medical Center in Moultrie, two of our resident Board members, were our delegate and alternate respectively. Alayna Dukes from the Mercer University in Macon, served as our student delegate.

The total conference attendance was 5,100, a record high composed of 1,147 Residents and 1,691 Students. A total of 30 resolutions were submitted.

SPECIAL NEWS: Natalie Britt, MD (Savannah) was elected as one of the two National Resident Alternate Delegates to the AAFP Congress of Delegates for 2017-2018!  Congratulations to Dr. Britt!

Chetan Patel, MD and Natalie Britt, MD pictured celebrating Dr. Britt’s win!

A message from Natalie Britt, MD: “What a privilege to attend the national conference again this year! It was an incredibly enriching and inspiring week. The energy and enthusiasm for family medicine is palpable, and I feel blessed to have taken part.  The opportunity to run for resident alternate delegate to the Congress of Delegates was especially exciting for me this year.  Seeing democracy at work as we advocate for our patients opened my eyes to the importance of being involved with public policy. I am very honored to serve my fellow residents over the next year, and I look forward to being more involved with the Georgia Academy as well”.







Chetan Patel, M.D., of the Columbus Regional Medical Center in Columbus authored a resolution on a topic that causes many residents a good deal of stress: personal finance. Dr. Patel asked the AAFP to include an educational session on personal finance at future National Conferences, which would be taught by a certified financial planner.

Another event that occurred at the AAFP National Conference is the Primary Care Leadership Collaborative (PCLC). Jamal Lawrence, MD – PGY-2 at Savannah Family Medicine Residency Program – is a coach for 2 of the FMIGs in the pilot program. Dr. Lawrence was selected to be a coach from a large group of resident and early career physician applicants.  He received extra training in June through Primary Care Progress to become a coach. Family Medicine Interest Groups (FMIG’s) Mercer Savannah Campus was selected from an applicant pool of 25 FMIGs that applied to be one of the 13 FMIGs in the program.  The student leader FMIG team members are Courtney Stone (M1), Tara Keil (M2), Ashley Hampton (M2), and Laurel Duvall (M4).

Our student delegate, Alayna Dukes, MPH, reported that she enjoyed lectures and a biopsy workshop designed to improve clinical knowledge and skills along with enjoying many opportunities to converse with students, residents, and physicians all excited about the “Family Medicine Revolution.”

(Left to Right)

Alayna Dukes, MPH (Student Delegate) Monique Merritt-Atkins, MD (Resident Delegate) Jessica Brumsfield, DO (Resident Delegate) and Chetan Patel, MD (Resident Alternate Delegate to the AAFP Congress of Delegates for 2016-2017).