UH Med Now
UH JABSOM Recognized by AAFP for Program of Excellence in Family Medicine
Pictured: FMIG members at the 2019 Susan G Komen Breast Cancer Race at Kapiolani Park. FMIG creates a JABSOM team to complete the race in support and raises/donates money to have a tent at the race. Photo courtesy of Rylie Wada, MD 2023 candidate.
By Deborah Manog Dimaya, Interim Director of Communications
For the first time, the University of Hawaiʻi (UH) medical school was recognized by the American Academy of Family Physicians as one of 18 medical school Family Medicine Interest Groups (FMIG) to win the 2020 Program of Excellence Award for exemplary efforts to grow and support interest in family medicine. In addition, the UH John A. Burns School of Medicine (JABSOM) was only one of two schools nationwide to receive a $600 cash prize.
The JABSOM Family Medicine Interest Group is recognized for Excellence in Community Service and Promoting Value of Primary Care. Among its efforts are a school supply drive, a thrift shop and bake sale to support homeless outreach and education, Tar Wars tobacco prevention education for elementary students and a new initiative called the Hawaii Inter-Island Coalition for Primary Care Pathways, a developing pipeline program to address the growing physician shortage across the islands. These efforts extend far beyond the national award to improving the future of family medicine and building the vital primary care physician workforce.
“Our JABSOM FMIG students, especially the executive board, work incredibly hard every year to service our community and to promote primary care to both current students and those in the pipeline. I am so happy that they are finally being recognized for their amazing work and am extremely proud of all of them!” said Dr. Jill Omori, FMIG faculty advisor and Associate Professor of Family Medicine & Community Health.
FMIGs are student-run organizations that create opportunities for students to learn about and experience family medicine outside of their medical school curricula. FMIGs host social events, workshops, leadership development opportunities, community service and clinical experiences. These award-winning groups are breaking new ground with important initiatives such as starting pipeline programs for students who are underrepresented in medicine and serving their communities during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“I am extremely grateful for this recognition by the AAFP and also incredibly proud of my team for their teamwork, commitment, and caring spirits throughout this past year. I am very humbled but also love being President to this incredible group of student leaders and want to thank my colleagues for whole-heartedly organizing and leading various workshops, panels, and quality improvement research – even amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. I hope the JABSOM community can take pride in this award with us and continue supporting us in our efforts to promote family medicine and improve the lives of those in our community,” said MD 2023 Candidate EunYoung Park.
Medical students and faculty were honored virtually during the AAFP National Conference of Family Medicine Residents and Medical Students in early August.
“The FMIGs we honor this year have gone above and beyond by activating students to put the knowledge they’ve acquired in the classroom into practice,” said Clif Knight, MD, senior vice president for education at the AAFP. “These programs help students develop leadership skills that will serve them in their future practices and communities and provide opportunities to better understand the many vital roles that family physicians play in our healthcare system.”
About American Academy of Family Physicians