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College's Family Medicine Program Wins National Excellence Award

ALBANY, N.Y., July 24, 2012—The American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP) has named Albany Medical College’s Family Medicine Interest Group  one of 10 “Programs of Excellence” for the club’s outstanding efforts in generating interest in family medicine. The award will be presented July 27 at the AAFP National Conference of Family Medicine Residents and Medical Students in Kansas City.

Family Medicine Interest Groups are clubs that are now found in at least 140 medical schools. They are designed to introduce med students to family medicine through community and clinical experiences, as well as meetings and workshops. Each year, approximately 100 students participate in Albany Medical College’s group.

“Through our interest group, we strive to educate our students about the core elements of family medicine while enabling them to connect with the community and feel supported in professional and personal growth throughout their medical school journey,” says Kate Wagner, M.D., faculty advisor of the club at Albany Med. “This recognition is a wonderful tribute to all of the incredible work our students do both at Albany Med and within the community.”

At the heart of the Medical College’s group  is Project MedSCOPE (Medical Student Community Outreach for Prevention and Education), which recruits faculty, residents and medical students from Albany Med’s department of family and community medicine to volunteer their time to help educate children in  the community about healthy living.  The program also introduces medical students to the challenges facing the underserved and gives them the necessary tools to provide health care to those in greatest need in the neighborhoods surrounding the Medical Center.

In addition to addressing health care needs within the community, the clubs address the national primary care physician shortage.

“Family medicine interest groups are essential to building our family physician workforce at a time when the nation increasingly needs primary care doctors. The FMIGs help medical students understand the professional challenge and personal satisfaction of being a family physician,” said Perry Pugno, M.D., vice president of education for the AAFP.

Founded in 1947, the AAFP represents 105,900 physicians and medical students nationwide. It is the only medical society devoted solely to primary care.

Albany Medical Center, northeastern New York’s only academic health sciences center, is one of the largest private employers in the Capital Region. It incorporates the 651-bed Albany Medical Center Hospital, which offers the widest range of medical and surgical services in the region, and the Albany Medical College, which trains the next generation of doctors, scientists and other healthcare professionals, and also includes a biomedical research enterprise and the region’s largest physicians practice with 350 doctors. Albany Medical Center works with dozens of community partners to improve the region’s health and quality of life. For more information: or


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Sue Ford
Extension: (518) 262 - 3421

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