Printed from: http://www.stfm.org/NewsJournals/NewsOctober312014
David Keegan, MD, and Lana Fehr, MD, to Speak on Growing the Family Medicine Pipeline

October 31, 2014—David Keegan, MD, a leader in the renewal of Canadian family medicine education programs and founding editor of the Shared Canadian Curriculum in Family Medicine, will team up with Lana Fehr, MD, at the 2015 Conference on Medical Student Education to share how to build, grow, and foster family medicine interest. 

The general session, “Building the Pipeline,” will cover how early exposure to family medicine, continuing engagement, and administrative support will build a family medicine pipeline that’s ready to meet the nation’s needs for primary care. 

 “I think the most important thing our discipline can do is to simply expose students to authentic comprehensive family medicine care at an early point,” expresses Dr Keegan. The talk will cover how to increase family medicine’s clout in curricula and how to create authentic and inspiring family medicine experiences. The talk will also present on the importance of creating opportunities to engage and nurture medical students who have made the decision to pursue family medicine. 

According to Dr Fehr, the guiding philosophy at the University of Calgary has been to illuminate for students what a career in family medicine can be. “The university uses career information sessions and continued exposure to practicing family physicians at all levels of medical school training to attract students and uses a special series of academic and mentorship events to keep the students engaged,” said Dr Fehr.

 “Most schools pick one or the other—illumination or nurturing. You know your program has got it right when you do both,” says Dr Keegan. He stresses that while early exposure, passion, and student engagement are vital steps to building interest, it is having support from administrative and senior management that helps the changes take shape. “When you have someone also passionate about family medicine whose main job is to look after all the logistics and task management, suddenly you're free. You’re free to dream big and make it happen, you’re free to invest your time in the various niche groups of students, and almost magical things happen,” said Dr Keegan. 

Dr Keegan is based at the University of Calgary where he is the deputy head and undergraduate (predoctoral) education director in the department of family medicine. He chairs the Undergraduate Education Committee of the College of Family Physicians of Canada. He is a member of STFM’s National Clerkship Curriculum Editorial Board.

Lana Fehr, MD, was a science teacher before deciding to pursue family medicine. A close friend was a rural family physician, and she realized that primary care would give her the opportunity to follow her passion to change lives, one on one. “I am already enjoying the opportunities I have daily to educate patients about their health and to find solutions that work well within their unique context,” she says. 

The day before their talk, Drs Keegan and Fehr will present an education session, titled “FM Resident Teaching Nights: A Program to ‘Feed and Grow’ Undergraduate Medical Students Interest in Family Medicine While Providing Teaching Experiences for Residents.”

The Conference on Medical Student Education is February 5–8, 2015 in Atlanta, GA. The conference is geared specifically to medical educators, who shape and inspire the next generation to be competent, dedicated, and passionate physicians and offers a unique blend of educators and students. Register online at stfm.org/mse.


Copyright 2017 by Society of Teachers of Family Medicine