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2018 President Elect

Frederick Chen, MD, MPH, University of Washington

Personal History

Dr Frederick Chen is professor and vice chair for clinical services in the Department of Family Medicine at the University of Washington, and chief of family medicine at Harborview Medical Center, the county hospital for Seattle. He is the director of the WWAMI Family Medicine Residency Network.

Growing up in Atlanta, Dr Chen graduated from Emory University and went on to medical school at the University of California, San Francisco, and completed his MPH in epidemiology at UC Berkeley. After residency in family medicine at the University of Washington he completed a fellowship as a Robert Wood Johnson Clinical Scholar, was the Kerr White Visiting Scholar in the Center for Primary Care Research at the U.S. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) and an Atlantic Fellow at the University College London. 

His work and research has focused on underserved and rural communities as well as health policy. Dr Chen helped create HRSA’s Teaching Health Center program, which supports primary care residency programs in community settings.

Freddy’s wife Michelle is deputy city attorney for Seattle and they have two children, Chelsea (tween) and Theo, age 9.

Position Statement


STFM, like family medicine, is about relationships. I’m committed to ensuring STFM’s status as the premier family medicine education organization and to support our core strength–our members, our staff, and the structure that brings and keeps us together.

In this time of immense change in health care, STFM will need to uphold the ideals and values of family medicine, and embrace the future of primary care in dynamic health care systems. STFM will do that by valuing first and foremost relationships with patients, students, residents, and family physician teachers. Teaching the core of family medicine means respecting the breadth of primary care and promoting the value of family medicine.

These are tumultuous times in our country. We are faced with political, cultural, and leadership crises. STFM’s core values in social justice, equity, and education will be central themes during my term.

I pledge to uphold our values and represent family medicine with professionalism and respect.  I will promote family medicine in its role as a true North for the challenges that face our health care system. I will work to grow STFM and make new partnerships that support our leadership and vision in the US health care system

Answers to Candidate Questions:

1. What actions does STFM need to take to move STFM toward the goal of becoming the indispensable professional home for all family medicine educators?

STFM needs to continue working to attract new faculty to family medicine education. This includes new tools for recruitment and retention, support for faculty well-being, and helping faculty engage with students and residents. For example, in the WWAMI network, we have sponsored a regional chief resident conference that attracts residents to teaching positions.

2. One or two key challenges I anticipate STFM will face in the next 3 years and a potential course of action to address each challenge.

There are many new challenges that have come with health care transformation. From the stresses of charting in electronic health records to increased attention on quality measures that don’t always translate into better care, STFM will need to recognize and be part of the solution for these challenges. STFM will take these challenges and formulate an advocacy agenda that partners with other medical professional organizations. Locally, I would like to encourage resources and faculty development geared to combining teaching with the attention on primary care quality measures in our care delivery systems.  

3. Share my experience at bringing people together with diverse agendas and finding common ground.

At the University of Washington, I’ve been working on engaging different specialties in care transformation in our health system. That includes finding a common value in education and research, and supporting all of our physicians in better care delivery models.  In state and federal policy settings, I have sought to find common ground in patient care relationships—a theme that resonates with payers, policy makers, hospitals, and family doctors.

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Copyright 2018 by Society of Teachers of Family Medicine