During the late 1970’s and early 1980’s, the growth of Family Practice Residency Programs and academic departments produced a corresponding growth in the number of individuals serving these programs as coordinators or administrators. Informal conversations at various national meetings identified a growing interest and need for a formal organization, such as already existed for academic OB/GYN and IM administrators, to facilitate professional development of Family Practice administration.
At the 1983 Residency Assistance Program (RAP) Workshop, the American Association of Family Physicians (AAFP) offered to provide a meeting room and refreshments for an evening meeting of individuals interested in forming a national organization for Family Practice administrators. Approximately 40 people were in attendance. They heard a presentation on the benefits of such an organization by a Board member of the OB/GYN group. The group at the meeting decided to go forward and a Steering Committee was formed.
During 1983, the Steering Committee wrote the Articles of Incorporation and Bylaws. Letters were mailed to all Family Practice Residency Programs soliciting membership applications. A logo was designed and the name was chosen.
At the 1984 RAP Workshop, an organizational meeting was held. The Articles and Bylaws were adopted and the first slate of officers were elected. At that time, 59 individuals had responded to the membership invitation with 31 joining prior to December 31,1983, at a higher cost for the designation of charter members.
AFMA has continued to grow and develop over the years. One of its major thrusts has been to assist with the RAP Workshop, providing seminars of special interest to its members. A newsletter, The Connection, has been developed and is published quarterly. In 1993, a regional workshop was developed for individuals in the southeast, and the third one was held in the fall of 1995. In 1994, AFMA celebrated its 10th anniversary at the RAP Workshop with a Mardi Gras evening for all attendees and a 15th anniversary celebration was held at the 1999 meeting. In 2007, RAP changed its name and is now Residency Program Solutions (RPS) to better reflect their mission.
Membership has continued to grow. In accordance with AFMA’s Strategic Plan, membership continues to grow and stated goals and objectives continue to be achieved to benefit our members. Membership as of October 2005 is over 370, with respresentation in over 44% of all Family Medicine Residency Programs in the United States.
AFMA continues to be dedicated to providing its membership the leadership tools needed to enhance administration of Family Medicine Residency Training Programs in the changing environment of health care and education.
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