Family Medicine Interest Group Recognized for Efforts to Promote the Value of Family Medicine

Students assisted with a Covid vaccine clinic

Unable to gather in person last year, Albany Medical College students participating in the Family Medicine Interest Group (FMIG) created a makeshift kitchen studio and live-streamed a virtual Cooks for a Cause workshop, teaching area children healthy recipes that they could easily make at home. The beloved Teddy Bear Hospital Day, to which hundreds of children bring their teddy bears to Albany Med for a check-up each year, was recreated through a series of online videos.

Not even a pandemic could stop these med students from educating children about health, nutrition, and visiting the doctor or hospital.

For its efforts, Albany Medical College’s FMIG has been named one of 15 “2021 Programs of Excellence” by the American Academy of Family Physicians. This is the group’s fourth Program of Excellence Award.

“We are so proud of the work done through our FMIG, proud of the students who do such incredible work through these programs, and grateful for the faculty and administrators that support this ongoing work,” said Kate Wagner, MD, vice chair of the Department of Family and Community Medicine.

The Program of Excellence Award is given to FMIGs that demonstrate well-rounded competency in several key areas including community outreach, promotion of the value of family medicine as a primary care specialty, and professional development. And, as demonstrated by their efforts to continue educating the youngest members of their community, programs must illustrate significant changes or enhancements including new innovations and quality improvement to meet the needs of members.

Other efforts toward this recognition include the longitudinal fourth year planning workshop series offered to students matching in Family Medicine—designed to assist students with drafting their curriculum vitae, mock interviews, and residency program guidance; the annual Primary Care Symposium held each October; a Covid vaccine clinic organized through Care from the Start, a service learning program through which students assist with primary care services in Albany’s West Hill neighborhood; and work done for the Capital District Asylum Collaborative.