2023 Resident Delegate's Report

2023 AAFP National Conference Resident Delegate's Report

Representing Illinois as a resident delegate to the AAFP National Conference was a remarkable experience. I was able to meet residents and medical students who were not only passionate about family medicine but eager to engage in meaningful discussions on how to improve our health care system for patients and providers alike. Jennifer Caudle DO, was the AAFP's National Conference’s keynote speaker. She delivered an inspirational speech reminding us of the reasons why family medicine is such a rewarding specialty such as continuity of care, work life balance, and fulfilling relationships with patients from all walks of life. 

National Conference was also an opportunity for residents and students to affect change within the AAFP. Through the National Congress of Family Medicine, resident delegates elected national officers and discussed resolutions on important issues around DEI, education, advocacy and much more. Residents from Illinois were actively engaged in congressional activities and ran for several different national leadership positions. Though I did not secure the position, I had an amazing experience running to become a resident member of the AAFP Foundation Board of Trustees. I learned about the inspiring work the Foundation is doing, such as the wonderful humanitarian initiatives to fund free clinics across the nation, scholarships for residents to take part on a global health trip to the Dominican Republic and for medical students to attend National Conference.

Other Illinois residents who were candidates for national leadership positions included Y.C. Liu DO, from Northwestern Humboldt Park, and Ashley Schafer, MD from Advocate Lutheran General. Dr. Schafer also did a great job as the alternate resident delegate from Illinois. I am very proud to report that my co-resident, Janet Nwaukoni DO, from Northwestern Lake Forest, was elected to the AAFP Board of Directors. As a resident board member to the AAFP, she will be the voice representing family medicine residents nationwide and we wish her the very best!

National Conference also served to remind me that Family Medicine is not limited to the confines of the clinical setting. Oftentimes providers forget that the specialty is called Family and Community Medicine.  I take this title to mean not only the communities where physicians serve patients and their families, but also the community of physicians that make up the specialty.  I am proud to be part of a group of individuals who are smart, welcoming, and caring.

As I reflect on my experience at National Conference, I am grateful to the remarkable staff at IAFP and to my resident colleagues for entrusting me the honor to serve as the resident delegate from Illinois. I am also looking forward to meeting old and making new friends at the upcoming Family Medicine Experience (FMX) event which will be held in Chicago this year. As if reconnecting with peers and learning about career prospects were not incentive enough, thanks to the Illinois Academy of Family Physicians, family medicine residents from Illinois will have free registration to the event (use discount code FMX23ILR). Looking forward to seeing you there!

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