Renee Crichlow, MD. is a full spectrum family physician on faculty at the University of Minnesota, and director of Advocacy and Policy for the University of Minnesota Department of Family and Community Medicine. Dr Crichlow's experience in health policy includes completing a fellowship in primary care health policy with the US Department of Health and Human Services. She attended medical school at University of California, Davis. Following residency, she completed her first fellowship in faculty development (clinical research focus) at the University of California, San Francisco. Dr Crichlow then joined the faculty at UC Davis with a joint appointment in family medicine and OB/gynecology. Following UC Davis she worked and taught as a family physician in rural Montana while on faculty with the University of Washington in the Montana Family Medicine Residency Program.
Dr Crichlow received her second Fellowship in 2005, Health Policy as the National Rural Health Association nominee for the Dept of Health and Human Services Primary Care Health Policy Fellowship. She then received a second Faculty Development Fellowship from the University of Minnesota in 2010. She has served in numerous leadership positions through local, state, national and international levels, including areas of health policy development, academic endeavors, and community outreach.
She joined the University of Minnesota Department of Family and Community Medicine in 2009. Dr Crichlow is the co-founder of a youth health career mentorship program in North Minneapolis called The Ladder which has been engaging learners and physicians at every level. She was the Minnesota Academy of Family Physicians Teacher of the year in 2017. She has practiced and taught family medicine with obstetrics for over 20 years and still finds it fascinating.
We teach our Learners to guide our patients through the challenges and choices of life. We are academic family medicine this is who we are and this is what we do. STFM is the vessel that contains the innovations and creativity distribution of our purpose. STFM is the fountain we go to, to touch base, reinvigorate, and return refreshed, enlightened, and engaged in pursuing our purpose of growing our learners into inspired and excellent family medicine physicians. STFM needs to continually renew this fountain by engaging the younger faculty, providing avenues for mentorship with senior faculty, and supporting medical students at every single medical school in this country. STFM needs to be in the forefront of engaging students and faculty at orphan schools and providing information and resources for entering and succeeding on the path of being a family medicine physician. I've taught and still practice full spectrum family medicine for over 20 years in an academic environment in both rural and urban programs. I've had training and practice and advocacy and policy I know how to do these things, I know how to teach these things. As a result, I believe I have the skills to fully represent our organization, STFM in the position of STFM representative to the AAMC Council of Faculty and Academic Societies. We are living in times of chaos and change when it comes to healthcare and health systems in our country. Many decisions and discussions and policies are being developed in numerous environments. Family medicine needs a voice every level of these conversations. I can assure you that I'm quite capable of listening and learning and that as your representative the voice of family medicine will also be heard.
Answers to Candidate Questions
What actions does STFM need to take to move STFM toward the goal of being the indispensable professional home for all family medicine educators?
Our actions need to reflect our values and purpose.
Who are we what do we do and why?
STFM is the house academic family medicine the home where we share, care, and help persevere. Interdisciplinary, interprofessional, intergenerational with a common goal of supporting and augmenting the learning of the profession of being a family physician. Why do we do this? Because we sincerely believe that family medicine is a necessary and foundational component of quality, efficacious, cost-effective, compassionate, and caring system of health for both our patients and the multiple communities we participate we serve.
STFM needs to continually renew this fountain by engaging the younger faculty, providing avenues for mentorship with senior faculty, and supporting medical students at every single medical school in this country.
I believe one way of engaging the younger generation of faculty and students is for STFM to facilitate the spread of teaching the skills of advocacy and policy. As we understand the significant contribution of the social determinants of health to patient healthcare outcomes and a communities health inequities, it is clear that physicians need to have the skills outside of the exam room to engage in the development of policy and to advocate for their communities and their patients.
Choose one or two key challenges you anticipate that STFM will face in the next 3 years and describe a potential course of action to address each challenge.
Thinking about one or two key challenges that STFM will face in the next 3 years I believe that issues such as the east coast dominance of health education and GME policy discussions decrease the voice of family medicine which is not as well-respected in that region. This is one of the big reasons I believe that we should engage actively with the orphan schools. Demonstrating our value to the student population will help spread the conversation throughout academic medicine in those regions. there should be no place in this country that doesn't understand the value of family medicine to a quality, efficacious, and cost-effective healthcare system.
Hyper-partisan state of political affairs at this moment. Compromising the ability to advocate for reasonable consensus in the challenges the faces. STFM will provide resources and references to demonstrate the family medicine is valued in a bipartisan environment, both urban and rural communities benefit from this necessary medical specialty. I think that STFM could advance this knowledge at our various conferences. Providing calls for presentations and workshops that explicitly engage this conversation and in these conversations developing action steps for department and program to move forward.
In the time of Socrates, an early non-tenured academic, it was in the Agora that teacher and leaners would meet. It was the marketplace but it was also the place where philosophers would come to socialize and exchange ideas and in the process change the world. STFM is an agora for family medicine, a place of gathering in which conversations, exchange of resources, and references provide a vessel that both presents innovation and provides a renewal of purpose.
Share your experience at bringing people together with diverse agendas and finding common ground.
Throughout my career, I have engaged in many projects that bring people with diverse agendas together. I find that the quote that encompasses my practice and method of leading people with diverse agendas is, “If you want to build a ship, don't drum up the men to gather wood, divide the work, and give orders. Instead, teach them to yearn for the vast and endless sea.” Whether building a mentorship organization for youth from low wealth communities, developing a rural AHEC where none had been before, or developing longitudinal curricula for a de novo third and fourth year clinical experience I have been able to bring individuals with diverse agendas together, listen to their desires and concerns and out of that develop a common mission. I am a catalyst for action and I know that to lead change is not a passive pursuit. When we and our people understand the purpose, the “Why”, we can work together to develop and execute the “How”.