The Family Medicine Interest Group (FMIG) at the Keck School of Medicine of USC recently received a Program of Excellence Award based on their commitment to engaging students interested in pursuing family medicine. One of only 10 schools to be awarded for overall excellence nationally, the Keck School of Medicine of USC’s FMIG was also the only one from California honored July 29 at the American Academy of Family Physicians National Conference of Family Medicine Residents and Medical Students in Kansas City.

“Attracting medical students to the specialty of family medicine is critical to addressing the ongoing primary care physician shortage,” said Clif Knight, MD, senior vice president for education at the AAFP. “All of this year’s award winners have done outstanding work giving students the opportunity to put into practice the knowledge they’ve acquired in the classroom, develop leadership skills that will serve them in their future practices and communities, and better understand the vital role that family medicine plays in our health care system.”

Jo Marie Reilly, MD, is the faculty adviser for the FMIG and has been integral to seeing the program grow.

“The FMIG at the Keck School of Medicine of USC reflects the tremendous diversity and breath that a career in family medicine offers,” said Reilly, associate professor of clinical family medicine (educational scholar). “I am very proud and impressed by the consistent commitment and dedicated leadership that our KSOM FMIG leaders provide in our school.”

Students who participate in the FMIG at the Keck School of Medicine of USC are involved in numerous activities that allow them to participate in diverse health care experiences with patients of all ages. The FMIG includes activities such as the Cuddle Club, community health fairs, a geriatrics program and a fitness initiative called Ready, Set, Fit.

Ruth Barber Goodson, the co-president of the FMIG, attended the conference and accepted the award on behalf of the program.

“I was honored to receive the Program of Excellence award on behalf of the Keck School of Medicine of USC,” Goodson shared. “I also had the opportunity to give a formal presentation about how we developed and executed some of our programming during a workshop on FMIG development. Topics presented included Homelessness Awareness Week, geriatrics-focused events and a new series of lunch talks.”

— Claire Norman