Stepping into the annual American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP) National Conference is like stepping into a vibrant marketplace of ideas and experiences. Held in Kansas City July 27-29, 2023, the energy was palpable. Medical students and resident physicians alike were immersed in a unique environment of networking and learning opportunities where they drew inspiration from accomplished speakers and could actively participate in workshops.
No matter where students are in their medical training, this national conference provides a place to discover new opportunities in family medicine. Here, they can prepare for clerkship through educational programming designed to enhance their family medicine journey, get a jump-start on residency and their medical careers, hone procedural skills and gain energy and inspiration from others on the same path.
The conference provides a golden opportunity for Kansas City University (KCU) to share the philosophy and tenets of osteopathic medicine. As a consistent conference participant for more than two decades, we at KCU put our heart and soul into crafting workshops that enhance the learning experience.
During the conference, KCU presented three workshops. Josh Cox, DO, executive dean of KCU’s College of Osteopathic Medicine and vice provost for medical affairs, and Gautam Desai, DO, KCU chair of Primary Care, ensured that the conference included an informative introduction to Osteopathic Manipulative Medicine (OMM). This workshop featured a blend of short lectures, demonstrations, and hands-on learning, making the principles and practices of OMM more accessible.
In another session, KCU Assistant Professor of Primary Care Bryan Beutel, MD, joined Drs. Cox and Desai to present an overview of joint and soft tissue injections. This included a review of the indications and contraindications for injections, typical injection agents, relevant anatomy to identify landmarks, and the appropriate technique for more than 10 different musculoskeletal injections. Learners then practiced these techniques on four different training mannequins representing different parts of the body.
On the final day of the conference, Dr. Beutel threw attendees into the deep end of the practical aspects of casting and splinting through his immersive workshop, aptly titled “Extremity Splinting in Primary/Urgent Care: A Case-Based, Hands-On Introduction.” Participants learned the indications for splinting, how to recognize and describe X-ray findings for common fractures, and how to select the appropriate type of splint. Participants were then presented with five different upper and lower extremity fracture cases, and practiced applying the necessary splints on one another with the proper technique.
The AAFP National Conference not only enhances the medical knowledge of the students and residents who attend, but also propels them further toward their medical careers. The experiences shared and lessons learned truly equip them for success in their future endeavors in the field of medicine. The conference also encourages shared values and a sense of camaraderie among attendees.