Family Medicine Interest Group

Mako Gedi

Mako Gedi – Chair / MED27

My interest in Family Medicine did not sprout from a single event; rather, it grew from a culmination of moments where I felt a profound purpose in working to bridge the health inequities afflicting my community. My work started in early 2021, as the COVID Vaccine Coordinator at the only Black-health-focused primary care clinic in Oregon. I had originally volunteered to spearhead vaccination efforts because it was clear that mistrust in the healthcare system would present a significant barrier for people in my community to take the vaccine. What I did not expect was just how dedicated and resourceful a primary care team could be in facing this challenge. We started with phone calls to patients to discuss the vaccine. Physicians were readily available to take calls with hesitant patients, while those not yet ready to talk were extended an open invitation to call or come by the clinic in their own time. Within 2 weeks, we opened our doors to a full schedule of clinic patients and community members who elected to get the vaccine from us. Listening to people reflect on what it was like to receive care at a place that consistently celebrated their culture, stayed attentive to their concerns, and advocated for their survival made one thing clear: those who had agreed to vaccination did not do so because they trusted the vaccine, but because they trusted the providers at this clinic. These providers did what the US healthcare system never bothered to do: earn trust. And now, it was this trust that was making the difference between life and death. The road to achieving health equity is an arduous one; I believe it hinges on the work of physician advocates who champion the holistic well-being of their patients, and by extension their communities. I have seen Family Medicine pave the way, and I am here to learn everything I can to continue the work.

Tyler Hunt-Smith

Tyler Hunt-Smith - Vice Chair / MED27

Family medicine, to me, represents a holistic approach to healthcare that emphasizes continuity of care, preventive medicine, and patient-centeredness. I hope to work in a field that allows me to see such eclectic conditions, since I find the vast array of problems a Family Medicine Doctor can encounter truly fascinating. I’m very excited to work with the team at FMIG to encourage more members of my class to consider the opportunities Family Medicine can provide. The faculty liaisons, I have met while being a part of FMIG, are so encouraging. I really appreciate the positive energy they bring to the organization and the care they put into the FM specialty.  

Vee Vanderpoel

Vee Vanderpoel – Volunteer / Mentoring Co-Lead / MED26 (MD/MPH)

As a third year MD/MPH student at OHSU who is passionate about public health, primary care, and preventative medicine, I am excited to pursue a career in family medicine! Family medicine, to me, honors that medicine is much more than the clinical work; rather it encompasses every facet of where people live, work, and play, as well as the societal structures we all operate within. As someone who grew up in Colorado with my mom as the local swim coach and my dad as a wildlife conservationist, I view community, connection, environment, and advocacy as integral parts of medicine. I feel grateful and excited to soon work in a field that values these things as much as I do! OHSU FMIG has been like a second family for me here in Oregon, and has helped me connect with wonderful friends, mentors, and role models. I’m excited to enter my second year with FMIG as the Volunteer/Mentoring Co-lead. I’m excited to focus this year on fostering continued mentorship between residents and medical students, partnering with Oregon high schools to host health occupations days, where students can explore medicine and access mentors. I look forward to continuing to connect OHSU medical students with volunteer opportunities such as the Portland Marathon Medical Tent and preventative skin screening outreach.

Carolyn Green

Carolyn Green - Volunteer / Mentoring Co-Lead / MED26

My path to medical school is a bit of an unusual one: I majored in Industrial Design and worked in the design industry for several years before transitioning to clinical research and completing a post-baccalaureate to fulfill my pre-medicine requirements. I used to think that my varied interests — especially creative pursuits like writing and fine art — meant I didn't fit the pre-med mold. However, I eventually realized that a broad range and depth of knowledge is exactly what I appreciate most about medicine. I can't think of a better example of this than family practice. I am in awe of family providers' commitment to community support, advocacy, and policymaking...all on top of maintaining the ability to provide empowering care to everyone from newborns to seniors. I am incredibly honored to be a part of FMIG!

Carol Newton

Carol Newton - Advocacy Lead / MED25

I came into medical school with a basic understanding that the field of medicine needs of a federally qualified health center (FQHC) in Denver, CO turning away people daily who desperately needed care-- simply because there were not enough appointments or doctors to see them. When I started medical school as a first year MD student, I joined FMIG to learn more about family medicine; now, I'm involved in the capacity of Advocacy lead. My working definition of family medicine is based in long-term individual and community connection: it seems to be a never-ending (and unfortunately therefore inevitably frustrating) puzzle of how to make a sterile diagnostic code explain the complexity and intricacies of being human. Being a family med doctor requires medical excellence, but it also demands excellence in relationship-building and navigation of the medical system to break down barriers for patients. I enjoy sitting with a patient to solve these human-centered puzzles just as much as I enjoy the puzzles of medical complexity. In my role as Advocacy lead this year, I most look forward to learning from and collaborating with peers and providers around the scope of family medicine, from advocacy to addiction medicine to increasing access to medicine for historically underserved groups. I hope to play a role in fostering connection between people in the department, across specialties, and with the greater community for collective learning about how to better take care of our communities and each other. 

Jonathan Sisley

Jonathan Sisley - Family medicine Research Forum (FMRF) Co-Lead / MED25

I'm one of the co-leads for the Family Medicine Research Forum. I joined FMIG in this capacity because I really enjoy the clinical research process—especially when you can get patients to feel passionate and excited about the research you are doing. In this role, I am excited to help students learn more about opportunities for research in FM and also to learn more myself! This includes connecting students with mentors, answering FAQs about involvement, and alleviating anxiety revolving around scholarly project as students transition out of didactics into the clinical realm. 

Lynn Bajorek

Lynn Bajorek - Family Medicine Research Forum (FMRF) Co-Lead / MED25

Growing up in Portland, Oregon, I was inspired by the role my dad, affectionately known as "Dr. B" to many patients, played in the clinic and in our community as a family   physician. Witnessing his joy and deep sense of purpose in providing care for generations of families - from delivering babies and supporting their health from infancy through adolescence and caring for adult patients as their lives were shaped by advanced age left a profound impression on me. In my experience working as a research coordinator in clinical frontotemporal dementia research at UCSF, I saw how dementia patients and care partners navigate complex disease processes and it affirmed for me that a clinicians' role is not only management of a malady that afflicts one patient, but that their mission extends to family engagement, education, and support as well. In starting medical school at OHSU, I always felt a calling to serving my community as a primary care doctor and have been able to explore family medicine through my first preceptorship, only 6 months into medical school, spending a half day per week at the FM clinic in Scappoose, and more recently through a 2-month long continuity clinical rotation. I found immense fulfillment in the broad scope of patient centered care offered at the clinics and particularly enjoyed the procedural aspects of the field, such as performing pap smears, skin biopsies, joint injections, - and assisting with colposcopy, circumcision, and vasectomies. As a co-leader of FMIG’s research forum, I aspire to educate and inspire my peers to consider becoming family medicine physicians through events informing students about diverse approaches to primary care research and working with the department to share research opportunities with students. I am honored to be part of FMIG and look forward to contributing to the next generation of family medicine physicians, carrying on the legacy of my Dad as the next "Dr. B."

The Family Medicine Interest Group is a group of medical students who share an interest in a career in the specialty of Family Medicine. 

  • If you are interested in joining this group's listserv, please click here.
  • If you are interested in opportunities to engage in research and scholarship, please click here


Our award-winning FMIG offers a wide a variety of activities for medical students throughout the year, including but not limited to:

  • Hands-on workshops (such as suturing, circumcision, maternity care, sports medicine)
  • Lectures (topics have included family medicine and politics, changes in healthcare systems, incorporating research into your work, and residency interview preparation)
  • Social events


Many opportunities are available for leadership through FMIG at the local, state and national levels, including:

  • FMIG offices, such as co-chair, class representative, membership chair and committee chairs
  • Membership on AAFP committees (national level)
  • Membership on OAFP committees (state level)
  • Delegate roles at state, regional and national meetings


A four-year membership to all OHSU medical students is available at no cost. This includes membership in the American Academy of Family Physicians and the Oregon Academy of Family Physicians. In addition, for the entire four years of medical school, members receive the online American Family Physician (the clinical journal published by the AAFP) and are on the FMIG email list which keeps students informed of FMIG activities.  Sign up here.

For more information about FMIG, AAFP, OAFP, or family medicine as a specialty, contact us.