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Third-year medical student Bridget Gruender prepares dinner for guests at the Ronald McDonald House as part of the community service performed by MU's Family Medicine Interest Group. The student group was selected to receive a Program of Excellence Award for Community Service from the American Academy of Family Physicians.

Students Receive National Award for Outstanding Community Service

Family Medicine Interest Group supports the uninsured, homeless, children and health education

The American Academy of Family Physicians has presented a group of University of Missouri School of Medicine students with the academy's 2011 Program of Excellence Award for Community Service. MU's Family Medicine Interest Group received the award in Kansas City as part of the academy's national conference for medical students and residents.

"Each year, I've been amazed to watch this group of outstanding students grow and expand its activities," said Amanda Allmon, MD, faculty adviser of the MU Family Medicine Interest Group (FMIG) for the past four years. "Our medical students' dedication to community service will make them even better physicians and colleagues in the future."

From cooking for families at the Ronald McDonald House to shaving their heads to raise money for pediatric patients, members of MU's FMIG donated more than 100 hours to community outreach activities in Columbia, Mo., last year. The group of 50 students also volunteered at the MedZou free community health clinic, which was created by MU medical students to serve uninsured patients, and they organized health-screening days for the homeless at the Salvation Army's Harbor House. MU FMIG students also visited elementary school classes to educate children about the negative effects of smoking.

FMIGs are medical school-sponsored organizations that give students a chance to learn more about family medicine through regular meetings, workshops, leadership development opportunities, and community and clinical experiences. Program of Excellence Awards recognize outstanding performance in FMIG operation, community service, promoting the value of primary care, exposure to family medicine and family physicians, professional development and measures of success.

MU's FMIG previously received the national Program of Excellence Award for Community Service in 2005 and 2007. MU's Department of Family and Community Medicine has ranked among the top 10 family medicine departments in the country for more than 15 years.

MU Health Magazine


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