STFM President Elect

Steven Lin, MD

Personal History

Steven Lin, MD is a family physician, educator, researcher, and health system leader at Stanford University. He earned his MD from Stanford University School of Medicine and completed his training at the Stanford-O’Connor family medicine residency program. Over the last decade, Dr Lin has served in multiple leadership roles for the Society of Teachers of Family Medicine, including the Faculty for Tomorrow Task Force (2015-2017), member-at-large on the Board of Directors (2017-2020), and chair of the National Telemedicine Curriculum Task Force (2020-2022). He has received numerous national awards and was a James Puffer/American Board of Family Medicine Fellow with the National Academy of Medicine (2021-2023).

Dr Lin is the chief of General Primary Care and the head of Technology Innovation for the Division of Primary Care and Population Health at Stanford. He is the founder of 3 nationally recognized programs: the O’Connor-Stanford Leaders in Education Residency Program (OSLER), the Stanford Medical Scribe Fellowship (COMET), and the Stanford Healthcare AI Applied Research Team (HEA3RT). He is a two-time recipient of the STFM Innovative Program Award (2014, 2021) and a two-time recipient of the STFM President’s Award (2017, 2022).

Dr Lin is the author of 400 scholarly works and conference presentations. His research covers a broad range of topics with the current focus on artificial intelligence and machine learning in health care. In 2019, he founded the Stanford Healthcare AI Applied Research Team with a mission to translate leading edge AI technologies from “code to bedside” in support of the Quintuple Aim. His team has collaborated with over 50 centers across industry, academia, non-profit, and government. Their work has been featured in the New England Journal of Medicine, by the National Academy of Medicine, in keynotes at global technology conferences, and in over a hundred news articles and interviews in the popular media.

Position Statement

There is no question that we are living through a time of extraordinary change and global upheaval that has impacted nearly every aspect of our personal and professional lives. In times like these, it is critical to hold onto our core values as family medicine clinicians, educators and scholars, and our common mission of healing humanity through caring, teaching and innovating. Keeping this North Star in sight in the midst of unprecedented challenges and distractions allows us to withstand our burdens to rediscover and nourish ourselves as individual changemakers and as a multinational professional society with purpose, hope and joy.

At the same time we must not shy away from meeting these challenges head on. Issues like artificial intelligence, climate change, and global armed conflicts are daunting topics for family medicine to take on; yet their inescapable impact on our lives, and on the lives of our patients and trainees, are so wide-ranging and far-reaching that we cannot—must not—ignore them. And we are not alone in facing these challenges; our colleagues within the family of family medicine organizations, as well as our primary care brothers and sisters in internal medicine, pediatrics, and geriatrics, are all looking at the state of our world in equal concern.

Can we work together to secure a better future for primary care? It will require humility, authenticity, courage, respect, and a great deal of cooperation. Whether we succeed will depend on our capacity to inspire hope and change by building relationships and empowering people and organizations to achieve their full and joyful potential.



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?

For someone like me who trained and work at an institution without a department of family medicine, STFM has always been an indispensable academic home. I have been going to STFM conferences since I was a medical student, and if it wasn’t for STFM, I would not have chosen to go into family medicine (in fact, I was the only person in my graduating class to do so!). For the past 56 years, STFM has succeeded in its mission of advancing family medicine to improve health through a global community of teachers and scholars. For STFM to continue succeeding in a time of rapid change and unprecedented disruptions to society, healthcare, and medical education, it will need to be highly adaptable, courageously forward-looking, and resolute in its core values of diversity, excellence, integrity, openness, and relationships.

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.

The ubiquity of artificial intelligence and its rising impact on society and healthcare can no longer be ignored in medical education. STFM members at every level of training—from medical students to practicing physicians—will need to know more about AI. Although competencies for the use of AI in primary care have been proposed, they have not been widely accepted or adopted. There is a pressing need to develop, study, and disseminate evidence-based curricula for AI in family medicine at the UME, GME, and CME level. STFM is uniquely positioned to lead the national conversation around AI in medical education. For example, STFM could commission a Task Force on AI to advance the creation, evaluation, and dissemination of national curricula. In addition, STFM could consider adopting an organization-wide set of AI policies, including a Code of Conduct to guide the responsible use of AI in teaching, curriculum development, scholarship, research writing, advocacy activities, STFM programming and more.

Share your experience at bringing people together with diverse agendas and finding common ground

Over the last decade at Stanford, I have built and led diverse teams and spearheaded innovations across all 3 domains of academic medicine: clinical care, education, and research. As chief of General Primary Care—the closest thing we have to a chair of Family Medicine at Stanford—I’m responsible for bringing together 150 faculty members plus 30 clinic and program directors around the common goals of caring for 70,000 empaneled patients, educating over one hundred trainees, and executing dozens of research initiatives every year. As chair of STFM’s Telemedicine Curriculum Task Force, I recruited and led a team of telemedicine experts and educationalists across disciplines and geographies to develop a new online telemedicine curriculum, and conducted a multi-institutional evaluation involving 1,200 US medical students and residents at 34 academic institutions. I consider consensus-building and change management among my greatest leadership interests.

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