STFM Member Bill Ventres, MD, MA, is the Ben Saltzman, MD, Distinguished Chair in Rural Family Medicine at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS) in Little Rock. In this role, he is responsible for encouraging students and residents at UAMS to consider careers in rural and underserved family medicine.
William's Story: At the recommendation of my faculty development fellowship director, Frank Hale, MD, I joined STFM in 1989. I had begun my career in family medicine and had a vague dream that I wanted to teach. I went into practice at a safety net clinic and spent the next 20 years in these clinics and associated hospitals. I taught medical students rotating through my practice.
The STFM Annual Spring Conference has been a touchstone in reinforcing the importance of teaching as a way to stimulate my mind, organize my thoughts, and help others grow in their professional pursuits.
Paying It Forward: STFM members, old and young, male and female, of all colors, creeds, backgrounds, and orientations, have supported, nurtured, questioned, and enlightened me throughout my career. They have advised me when words of support were needed, chastised me when I ventured too far afield, and guided me through the many challenges of being a family physician and family medicine educator.
I am indebted those who have helped me along my professional path. They have added value to my life, and I am profoundly grateful. Supporting the STFM Foundation is one way I can
express that gratitude, and at the same time, ensure that others starting off as teachers of family medicine will find a welcoming home in the STFM family.
Light the Torch: Transforming the future of family medicine would not be possible without the generosity of William Ventres, MD, and countless other STFM members and supporters. Through the Light the Torch Club and other donations, the STFM Foundation supports STFM's priority to develop the pipeline for academic family medicine.