AAFP National Conference Delegate Reports

Resident Delegate Report

Audrey Hertenstein Perez, MD
PGY-2 West Suburban Medical Center FMRP
IAFP Resident President Elect 2019

I had the honor of representing residents across the state while serving as Illinois Resident Delegate to the American Academy of Family Physicians National Conference in Kansas City, Missouri. This year was my first time attending the conference and from the moment I entered the convention center, I was overwhelmed with the positivity and energy of so many medical students, residents, and attendings gathered to celebrate and advance family medicine.

In the role of Resident Chapter Delegate, I learned about the process of writing, presenting, and voting on resolutions addressing topics important to family medicine residents across the country. It was inspiring to see so many peers and future colleagues dedicating time and energy to serve in leadership positions at the state and national level at AAFP. I really felt that their voices are valued by the AAFP, and powerful in creating a healthier future for our patients and communities.

I worked with my co-resident, Dr. Morgan Beatty, to co-author a resolution advocating for the AAFP to promote physician education to better serve immigrant and refugee patients. I also worked with Dr. Reshma Ramachandran of Kaiser Permanente Los Angeles Medical Center to co-author a resolution advocating for the health and well-being of children affected by family separations at the U.S-Mexico border. Dr. Beatty also worked in collaboration with other residents to co-author resolutions opposing criminalization of physicians for providing abortion care and affirming the safety and legality of abortion.

Other topics addressed included denouncing raced-based medicine, advocating for easier access to buprenorphine and other methods for treating opioid use disorder, increasing advocacy activities through AAFP, and providing gender-affirming care for adolescent patients. All of these resolutions and others were adopted by the Resident Congress for further action within the AAFP.

Working alongside so many passionate family medicine residents and hearing their testimony at these sessions inspires and motivates me to continue work as an aspiring family physician. I feel lucky to be training in Illinois, a state with a strong family medicine presence.
At the conference, I enjoyed my time talking to residents from other residency programs while they weren’t busy speaking with interested students at the residency fair. I valued hearing their perspectives on the resolutions and the issues important to them. We also discussed future collaborations in sharing ideas in community-based outreach, advocacy, and curriculum initiatives. I am looking forward to bringing the energy from the AAFP National Conference to my upcoming years working alongside these residents with IAFP.

Student Delegate Report
Ellie Battino, M2 Rush University

In late July, I attended my first AAFP National Conference in Kansas City, thanks to the financial assistance from the AAFP Foundation Family Medicine Leads Scholarship. I was so excited to attend the conference, mostly to meet other students interested in family medicine and learn more about the different directions this field could take me. I’m excited to share with you some highlights from my weekend in Kansas City.

My favorite education session focused on trauma informed care by Dr. Anita Ravi. Like many people interested in family medicine, I’m passionate about health equity, so I wanted to attend some presentations about advancing health equity and providing compassionate care to marginalized populations. Dr. Ravi’s talk on providing trauma-informed care Thursday afternoon truly blew me away! She shared her experience caring for patients with histories of trauma and how she adjusts her practice to make patients feel more comfortable and avoid causing further trauma. I learned how little things you do as a health care provider matter. For example, being sure to have the otoscope cord pass behind the patient rather than in front of their neck, can provide peace of mind and avoid triggering a patient who has experienced trauma. The concept of trauma-informed care was somewhat new to me, and this talk shed light on the importance of practicing it in every patient encounter.

Another highlight was participating in voting on resolutions in the student congress on Saturday morning. I felt so inspired to be in a room full of passionate students who want to make health care more inclusive and compassionate for our future patients. A resolution related to providing gender-affirming care for trans youth was particularly impactful. We heard an incredibly passionate and informing testimony from a fourth-year medical student, reminding us that one of the most important roles of family physicians is advocating for our patients and being a consistent presence in their lives. Although the resolution was not adopted as submitted to the Student Congress, I think it’s a preview of what might be debated at the AAFP Congress of Delegates.

Finally, listening to all the student candidates for the various leadership positions was truly inspiring to hear about their stories, their passions and their desire to lead so early in their medical careers. Along with my alternate delegate Cristal Chan, we carefully considered each election before I cast our Illinois vote. I’m particularly proud of our own Illinois student, Sydney Doe, a Northwestern fourth-year student who ran for the position of Alternate Student Delegate to the AAFP Congress of Delegates. Five outstanding student members ran for the two positions available. The vote was so close that two run-off votes were taken. After all the suspense, I’m thrilled that Sydney will join Georgetown student Libby Wetterer in the student delegation to the AAFP Congress this September in Philadelphia.

I’m so grateful to have had the opportunity to participate in the AAFP national conference and the student congress, and I’m looking forward to attending next year!

Share this post:

Comments on "AAFP National Conference Delegate Reports"

Comments 0-5 of 0

Please login to comment