Dr. Michael Samel and Dr. Thinn Zaw represented Memorial GME Family Medicine during the Mississippi Academy of Family Physicians (MAFP) Primary Care Day at the Mississippi State Capitol on February 9, 2022.
Family physicians from throughout the state participated in a morning of activities, meeting with legislators to increase awareness of issues affecting family medicine. After being introduced in the House and Senate galleries, MAFP members then gathered for lunch to hear Senator Brice Wiggins of Pascagoula speak about state issues.
“It was a pleasure to meet with our state representatives and senators at the Capitol and be recognized alongside residents from all over the state. I look forward to solidifying relationships with these residents, collaborating with them to help advocate for the health and well-being of all Mississippians, and providing feedback as to how to attract medical trainees to our state,” said Dr. Samel.
Dr. Zaw shared her thoughts on the experience as well, stating “It was a great honor to be able to represent Gulfport at the Capitol. It was wonderful to have the opportunity to meet with the state legislators, to increase physicians’ presence in the Capitol, and to meet our fellow Family Medicine residents in Mississippi.”
Related organizations that joined include:
- Pediatrician members of the American Academy of Pediatrics Mississippi Chapter
- The MAFP Foundation was there to support a Smoke-Free Mississippi along with special guest Miss Mississippi Holly Brand. Brand travels the state on behalf of MAFP Foundation teaching 4th and 5th graders about the dangers of tobacco use.
- Doctors from the MS Rural Physician Scholarship Program were there showcasing the program, funded by the Mississippi Legislature since 2007.
- The Office of Mississippi Physician Workforce was on hand to promote their work on the state’s physician workforce development needs. Since its creation in 2012, OMPW has increased the number of first-year residency spots in Mississippi – outside of UMMC – from 12 to 115. OMPW has grown the number of Mississippi residency training sites from 4 to 13 with two more in development.
Dr. Samel also shared, “As for policymaking, right now there are no state senators or representatives that are physicians. It’s important for us to keep in touch with our congress members and act to advise them on what we need from the state government in order to support a high standard of care for our patients.”
Thank you for representing Memorial!