STFM Member Kathryn Fraser, PhD, is the behavioral medicine coordinator at the Halifax Health Family Medicine Residency Program in Daytona Beach, Florida. She is a past director of the Behavioral Science / Family Systems Educator Fellowship (BFEF) and currently leads the Mentorship Work Group as part of STFM’s Underrepresented in Medicine initiative.
Embrace and Strengthen
by Kathryn Fraser, PhD
To overcome a sense of isolation—common for behavioral scientists—I started to get involved in family medicine conferences early in my career. When I attended my first STFM Annual Spring Conference, I was impressed with how STFM embraced behavioral principles in its programming. My early interaction with some visionaries in our field, like mentors Deborah Taylor, Julie Schirmer, and Jeff Ring, solidified my desire to contribute to our field and actively participate in STFM. My dedication to STFM grew when I was asked to be a mentor in the Behavioral Science / Family Systems Educator Fellowship (BFEF), and even more so, when I was recruited to be the BFEF director.
The Behavioral Science / Family Systems Educator Fellowship would not have been possible without STFM Foundation funding. The fellowship has served as a recruitment tool, bringing behavioral faculty to STFM, and has helped to increase the number of behavioral faculty attending STFM conferences tenfold. The network of highly qualified behavioral faculty has never been stronger, and the quality of instruction has improved exponentially.
I have also been deeply moved by STFM’s dedication to underrepresented faculty, health equity, and anti-racism efforts. Being a part of the Underrepresented in Medicine (URM) Oversight Committee and leading the URM Mentoring Work Group now allows me to participate in ground-breaking projects that facilitate the difficult conversations necessary to achieve equity and social justice in family medicine.
Why I Support the Foundation
The Foundation has purposefully funded projects which are key to the future of family medicine, such as the mentorship of behavioral science faculty and the promotion of topics pertinent to cultural and ethnic minorities in the practice of medicine. I have been able to embrace and advance my most significant goals as a behavioral medicine educator, and I am eager and proud to pay these opportunities forward as a contributor to the STFM Foundation.
Paying it Forward
Transforming the future of family medicine would not be possible without the generosity of people like Kathryn Fraser, as well as countless STFM members and supporters. Through both member and departmental donations, the STFM Foundation is able to support STFM's priority to develop the pipeline for academic family medicine.