The American Academy of Family Physicians is creating a new membership category for recent medical school graduates in the U.S. who have yet to find a residency position. Previously, only international graduates could maintain their membership during this transition.
For years, the American Academy of Family Physicians had a gap in its membership structure that left out some recent graduates—but the academy is looking to fix that with a new tier.
AAFP this week announced a new “transitional membership” category for medical school graduates who have yet to enter a residency program. The new membership offering will allow those members to be a part of the group for two full years after they graduate from medical school or until they find a residency approved by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) or the American Osteopathic Association (AOA).
AAFP notes that the new membership category rectifies a difference between the way graduates from the U.S. and those based internationally have been treated.
“International graduates who did not enter a residency have been able to remain international members for several years; however, U.S graduates had no membership option if they didn’t immediately match into a program,” the association stated in a news release.
The new membership tier has some limitations: These members won’t be allowed to hold AAFP office or vote on resolutions decided on by its Congress of Delegates, but they may offer their input.
The new membership structure also carries a benefit for international students: Now, students based outside the U.S. can join the academy as medical students for free—a benefit that only American students had access to previously.
The new structure, approved by the Congress of Delegates, takes effect December 18.