I have recently came back home from a 3 day conference. This conference was with the AAFP for medical students and residents. It was an amazing conference that I would advise everyone to go to no matter what year they are. In case you didn’t know I officially start medical school, Fall 2017. I have been fortunate to take the first year medical school courses in a special master’s program and found out that I really enjoy Family Medicine through that process.
While looking for scholarships I stumbled upon AAFP (American Academy of Family Physicians) and joined the organization. It is free for students. They host the National Conference every year and have workshops and residency programs throughout the conference. They even provided scholarships for 220 people (which is why I was able to attend).
The workshops provided leadership development skills, taught procedures like OMM and joint injections. The had talks about the direct primary care payment model and medical marijuana, just to name a few. If you are a fourth year student they provide workshops that help you with residency interviews and the entire process of applying to residencies. For the residents, they had specific workshops that helped you to transition to becoming a faculty or helped with CV preparation.
They provided time all throughout the conference to go to the expo hall to speak with the residency programs. At these booths they had at least 2 current residents and the program director to answer any questions you may have. Although I am far away from going on rotations and residencies, it was nice to have conversations with them to learn about what they are looking for in students and residents. I even managed to get contact information from the residents and program directors to keep in touch throughout the years. Even if you are a first year medical student, still come. The residents and program directors are happy to see people know what they are interested in and are happy to answer any questions you may have. They also give free stuff like water bottles, pins, phone chargers, towels and more.
Since I am a D.O. student I was concerned about the opportunities, but I found the dually accredited programs. Even the ACGME programs I am currently interested, in have D.O. residents. Seeing this gave me encouragement about not being as limited as some people have told me. They were able to tell me what they did to get into that residency and useful tips to get through medical school. Each of the D.O. residents I spoke with at these booths gave me there contact information in case I had more questions. Some of them are at place I hope to match at in the future. So, if you are a D.O. student or resident there are still plenty of opportunities.
If you are a resident, there are booths and workshops that are there for employment after residency. There was a section of employers with a career link sign.
It was nice to be around like-minded people who are extremely nice. Just about everyone I met, exchanged their numbers so that we can keep in contact. I even learned of another conference called FMEC that is also great for networking.
Even if you are not interested in Family Medicine, please look for conferences that give you an opportunity to network and learn more about residencies. You learn so much and make many connections in such a short period of time. You leave accomplished and encouraged to pursue your dreams of becoming a physician in that specialty.