Greetings from the 2019 FMEC host committee co-chairs. 

On behalf of the host committee, we wanted to take the opportunity to share the meaning behind this year’s theme, “Finding YOUR roots in Family Medicine’. 

As the meeting has been coming together, we have been reflecting on the various aspects of the Lancaster and central PA area that have been meaningful in the past.  The most notable has been a reflection on the meaning of having a sizable number of students and how this transformation had occurred with the Lancaster meeting in 1992.  For those who aren’t aware, in 1992, the first meeting occurred in which students were invited.  Hundreds of students attended that year, many of whom subsequently found their careers and callings in family medicine.  The meeting has never been the same since.  Since then, many students have found their calling to family medicine either in part or wholly related to this meeting.  So the host committee decided to spend some time celebrating that.

During a recent planning meeting, the host committee discussed all of the various areas of strength and interest in their departments of their various institutions.  When Larry was done transcribing, there were pages and pages of lists representing the many diverse areas of expertise represented by family medicine physicians in the Northeast.  Fundamentally, what everyone shared in common was a calling to provide patient and community centered care and to inspire future family medicine physicians to serve said communities.  Hence, the formation of finding roots in the field.

The host committee pictured a solid and mighty tree with a large trunk representing the foundation of family medicine.  The branches represent the diverse opportunities within the field.  Below the surface is the elaborate root system which provides the stability and foundation of the field.  As such, we want all attendees to feel the sense of the roots and foundation to the calling to family medicine, while also feeling the freedom to pursue the care of their patient population wherein their own passion lies.

Obviously the FMEC has year after year offered outstanding programming and networking opportunities, with projects such as IMPLICIT and the Innovators Network coming from its work in making connections.  This year, we want to sustain and build on such successful programming, but work to revitalize other ongoing programs that have meaning to the FMEC and family medicine alike.  These tracks would include but not be limited to:  innovations in family medicine education, increasing procedural skills for students, residents and faculty and revisiting a rural health track. 

Given Lancaster’s rich history with student involvement in the meeting and the opportunity for a connection to both urban and rural care and everything in between, everyone’s ascertainment of their ‘roots’ can be realized in this unique location.  Lancaster county offers unique urban experiences, coupled close-by with some very rural regions, thus demonstrating a geographical breadth parallel to the breadth that family medicine offers each and every day.   We think that every single faculty, resident and student will be able to find ROOTS in family medicine at this year’s meeting.

Please join us as we work to create a fantastic meeting in beautiful Lancaster, PA.

Bettina Aprile, MD and Sarah Ramirez, MD

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