Second-year medical student Andrea Bañuelos Mota has been selected as one of 30 nationwide awardees to participate in Family Medicine Leads (FML) Emerging Leader Institute. This opportunity is sponsored by the American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP) and awards promising students the chance to be involved in a yearlong leadership development program.

Bañuelos Mota received a scholarship toward travel expenses to attend both the AAFP National Conference of Family Medicine Residents and Medical Students and the AAFP Foundation FML Emerging Leadership Institute. Additionally, Bañuelos Mota will complete a project focused on the subject of personal and practice leadership with her mentors from the Keck School of Medicine of USC: Jo Marie Reilly, MD, professor of clinical family medicine (educational scholar); Jehni Robinson, MD, clinical associate professor of family medicine (clinician educator), vice chair for clinical affairs and acting chair for family medicine; and Stephanie Zia, MD, clinical assistant professor of medicine (clinician educator) and assistant dean for career advising.

Bañuelos Mota is a member of the Keck School of Medicine Primary Care Program and the president of the Family Medicine Interest Group this year.

“I see a bright future for family medicine when our medical students are engaged in leadership endeavors in our community, in research and in organized medicine,” Reilly said. “These student leaders are at the forefront of the transformational changes necessary to meet the primary care needs of our patients and communities.”

At the end of the year, the projects from the 30 participants will be evaluated and an additional scholarship will be given to the top two medical students and the top two family medicine residents in each of three research tracks. The winners then will present their winning projects at the next national conference. The Best Project Award will be named in each of the three tracks with an additional scholarship to participate in a major event related to that subject area.

“My hope is that I walk away from this experience with greater insight on how I can tap into my own potential and that of my peers to mobilize entire communities toward achieving better health and health outcomes,” Bañuelos Mota said.

— Claire Norman