Mike Appleman Named 2021 Friend of Family Medicine by OAFP

Congratulations to Mike Appleman, M.A. Ed, instructor in the Department of Family and Community Medicine and director of primary care education, for being honored with the Friend of Family Medicine Award by the Ohio Academy of Family Physicians!

Each year, the Ohio Academy of Family Physicians presents the Friend of Family Medicine Award “to an elected official, member of the media (individual or organization), or community individual who has worked on, been involved with, or reported on issues related to family medicine in Ohio.”

Appleman holds multiple leadership roles in the Department of Family and Community Medicine. He is associate director of NEOMED’s Integrated Pathway programs: Rural Medical Education Pathway, Social Justice Pathway, and the Urban Primary Care Pathway. The Pathways are student-centered learning communities within the College of Medicine, established to help students learn how to serve and advocate for diverse and underserved populations. Appleman also teaches several courses and serves in admissions as a file reviewer and interviewer, as well as serving on the COM Curriculum Committee and on the NEOMED Diversity Council.

In addition, Appleman recently helped start the Accelerated Family Medicine Track (AFMT) and collaborated on the Health Resources and Services (HRSA) Scholarship for Disadvantaged Students (SDS) grant program. The AFMT allows selected students to complete College of Medicine requirements in three calendar years, then enter a family medicine residency at a NEOMED-affiliated hospital after graduation. 

The SDS program is a scholarship program to award Underrepresented Minorities (URM) and socioeconomically disadvantaged students with tuition dollars. The SDS program is for students going into primary care in underserved areas.

In a letter nominating Mike Appleman for the OAFP award, College of Medicine students called their professor “a consummate professional” who “goes above and beyond our expectations to support all aspects of family medicine for students, physicians, and the public.”

OAFP Resident Member AuBree LaForce, M.D. (’21) wrote, “From the beginning to the end, he has been a positive force that has led not only me, but the entire cohort of RMED students.”

Asked for his reaction, Appleman said, “I am honored to receive the award. I love working with our students. They face many challenges throughout medical school, and I endeavor to be a positive force in their lives for their own personal and professional development, but also in how they approach their future patients. I strongly believe we need more family medicine and primary care physicians to address health disparities that plague our nation, and NEOMED is well situated to achieve that aim.”

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