This week marks a quirky little anniversary for me. It was 10 years ago this week that, in my opinion, my professional life was changed forever. In the great city of Kansas City, the American Academy of Family Physicians will have their annual National Conference of Family Medicine Residents and Medical Students. (Yes, that's a long name for a meeting, huh?)
When I was a medical student, this meeting was a great way to learn about cool medical stuff. But, more importantly, it was a great way to learn more about Family Medicine, to talk with Fam Med residents, and to hang out with my friends. When I was a resident, I started exploring more the advocacy side of the meeting. For example, if Family Docs are not their own advocates in the walls of government, then no one will.
For my last annual meeting as a resident (10 years ago), I decided that I would do something that I have never done before - that is, to run for national office which entails preparing and giving a speech in front of my peers. Let me tell ya, it was terrified at this prospect. You'll see the pictures of me in action in this post.
What was amazing to me was that I actually won that election. And, it was this point which changed my professional life forever. With this risk that I took and with this election won, this event opened so many doors for me and tremendously helped my self confidence. Something that is funny is that the other person in the picture above is the 2010 chair of the AAFP National Conference of Special Constituencies. So, for the students and residents who read this, the leadership positions and friendships that start now - will last for years to come. I will always have fond memories of this annual meeting....