Friday, August 21, 2015

We Did It...

I wrote this in the Minneapolis airport on my way home from Kansas City following the AAFP's National Conference and our inaugural Family Medicine Leads Emerging Leader Institute. I'm reasonably sure that my body was  depleted of ALL adrenaline by the experience. Not only is NC an inherently high-energy event, but for me it included presentations with our President-Elect Evelyn Lewis&Clark on Family Medicine Cares (FMC), co-presenting with Dr. Yerba Castellos-Lopes on her project for the FMC Resident Service Award, time spent with our Foundation staff in our exhibit hall booth, and time staffing in the FMAHealth booth.

Rest assured that your Foundation was a visible, verbal, and notable presence at National Conference. We were recognized throughout the event both for our sponsorship of Family Medicine Leads Scholarships and by Main Stage speakers who commented spontaneously that giving to the Foundation and FamMedPAC was an "obligation" of leaders in the organization. DONATE TODAY!
2015 FML Emerging Leader Institute Scholars

We also kicked off our inaugural Family Medicine Leads (FML) Emerging Leader Institute. For those of you who may be less familiar with the FML Emerging Leader Institute, it is a major component of Family Medicine Leads, the new Education Signature Program of the Foundation. I was interviewed about the inner workings of the FML Emerging Leader Institute by family physician and blogger Dr. Beth Oller. Rather than repeat all of those details here, I'd refer you to her excellent blog post on the matter from August 12.

We started with a breakfast meeting on Thursday of National Conference, assembling the 30 students and residents to get them oriented, acquainted with one another (and with us) and to express to them the importance of their time in Kansas City. We took group pictures, handed out their certificates, and escorted them into the VIP seating for the opening Main Stage presentation. The theme of Thursday for the FML Emerging Leader Institute Scholars was about being mindful of your past and aware of your present as a pre-requisite for becoming the leader you want to be in the future. My breakfast remarks reflected on the traits in my own family tree that make me who I am as a leader and began to get them thinking about their own stories and plans for the future. 

On Saturday and Sunday we brought the scholars to the AAFP Foundation headquarters in Leawood for, I am convinced, the best leadership development conference around. We started with a welcome from Dr. Henley and a formal inaugural address from me. The address drew on inaugural messages from U.S. Presidents "re-worded" to put them in the context of the FML Emerging Leader Institute.

Neal Sharma & Dr. Jason Marker
From there, I should let the pictures do the talking. We learned together, laughed together, played games, had snacks, toured the headquarters, and ate dinner. Following our meal we had a presentation from Dr. Angee McDaniel from Pfizer about the importance of mending the relationship between industry and the house of medicine, and from Mr. Neal Sharma an influential KC business man who comes from a family of physicians.  Neal spoke about applying innovative entrepreneurial skills in healthcare. Sunday we spent the day preparing the scholars for the projects they will undertake in the months ahead, wished them well, packed them back on the coach bus, and sent them off to the airport.

I know this post can never reflect the rich and robust "feel" of our inaugural FML Emerging Leader Institute, but let me tell you that we (your AAFP Foundation leadership and staff) feel that something deeply important for the discipline of Family M
edicine just happened, and we couldn't be happier that it started at the AAFP Foundation. I have a sense that I will look back some day and say, "I was there when..."