The American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP) hosted its National Conference of Constituency Leaders (NCCL) in Kansas City, MO, April 27-30, 2022. NCCL is the vehicle for AAFP member constituencies (recognized as women, minorities, new physicians, international medical graduates (IMGs), and LGBTQ+ physicians) to exchange information, share experiences, and develop basic leadership skills with peers from across the country. The conference is an opportunity for AAFP members of underrepresented constituencies to voice their individual and group perspectives.
The Ohio Academy of Family Physicians (OAFP) is proud to have had several members elected to leadership positions while representing Ohio’s family physicians at NCCL. OAFP member John A. Sharma, MD, FAAFP, is one such member that represented the IMG constituency for the OAFP. During NCCL, Dr. Sharma campaigned and was elected as IMG co-convener for the 2023 NCCL. Additionally, he was also successfully elected as a Member Constituency Alternate Delegate to the AAFP’s 2022 Congress of Delegates and will automatically serve as Delegate in 2023.
“I feel honored to represent the voices of my peers and look forward to the OAFP’s continuing guidance to ensure that I am best prepared to advocate for the voices of my constituency at upcoming meetings and, hopefully, be involved to help empower future OAFP constituency delegates to be leaders,” said Dr. Sharma.
Originally from Canada, Dr. Sharma earned his Master of Science in Epidemiology from the University of Alberta before graduating from St. George’s University School of Medicine in Grenada, West Indies, in 2005. He has spent the last 16 years practicing rural family medicine in the Midwest. He is now a family medicine attending physician at Van Wert Health in Van Wert, OH.
“At NCCL, I learned about organizational structure, networking, resolution writing, providing testimony, and parliamentary procedure,” said Dr. Sharma. “I am thankful to Van Wert Health and their executive team for allowing me this opportunity to grow my leadership skills and bring a new skillset back to the Van Wert community for the ultimate benefit of its residents.”
Dr. Sharma’s diverse experiences and leadership provide the OAFP and the AAFP with a valuable perspective to help address the present challenges in primary care and strengthen the prevalence of family medicine in rural communities throughout the nation.
The Ohio Academy of Family Physicians is a statewide, professional association with more than 5,200 members, including practicing physicians, family medicine residents, and medical students. The scope of family medicine encompasses all ages, both sexes, and every disease entity. Family physicians provide comprehensive, continuing care to all members of the family. For more information, visit www.ohioafp.org.