I <3 Primary Care Event Shows Students the Truth About Family Medicine


On February 26, representatives of the MAFP Foundation were pleased to join the Michigan State University (MSU) College of Human Medicine Family Medicine Interest Group (FMIG), Sparrow-MSU Family Medicine Residency Program, and Sparrow Medical Group (SMG) in presenting the I <3 Primary Care (I Love Primary Care) event at the Kellogg Center in East Lansing. Primary care physicians were invited to the event to speak to medical students about the benefits of pursuing a career in Family Medicine.

Dr. Julie Phillips, associate professor of Family Medicine at MSU and FMIG faculty advisor, coordinated the event–which generated a nearly 70-person turnout. The event began at 6:30 p.m. with students and doctors conversing while enjoying a catered dinner.

Phillips provided introductory remarks, after which special guest Dr. Douglas Edema, vice president of SMG at Sparrow Health System, spoke about his experience entering the field of Family Medicine when it was a newer specialty. He and his colleagues called themselves, “Family Medicine Specialists,” he recalled. 

Dr. James Olson, residency director of Family Medicine at Sparrow Health System, spoke also, encouraging students to consider the rewards of Family Medicine. Other special guests included Dr. Robert Darios, associate professor at MSU and Sparrow/MSU Family Medicine residency program; and Dr. David Walsworth, associate professor/associate chair for clinical affairs in the MSU department of Family Medicine and MAFP Foundation Trustee.

The keynote speaker for the event was Dr. Toby Long (Saginaw), who kept the crowd engaged and laughing with talk of his love for primary care, the role that hope plays in Family Medicine, his experience as a Family Physician in inner-city Saginaw, and numerous anecdotes about MSU and his time spent there. Once his presentation completed, his table remained engaged the entire night with students who wanted to hear more about his experiences.

The night capped off with informal roundtables, giving students the opportunity to talk more closely with various physicians in attendance to learn more about the specialty. The event was a perfect example of how FMIGs engage future Family Physicians from across the state, and how the MAFP Foundation offers support and partnership to make a difference.