Linda Myerholtz, PhD, has been elected as the next president of the Society of Teachers of Family Medicine (STFM). Myerholtz will serve as president-elect for the 2021-2022 term, followed by her term as president.
“I am so honored and humbled to serve the Society of Teachers of Family Medicine in the role as president,” Myerholtz said. “STFM has been my indispensable professional home from the beginnings of my career in family medicine.”
STFM is a national organization of academic leaders committed to developing an accomplished family medicine workforce. Their membership consists of physicians, PAs, nurse practitioners, behavioral health specialists, researchers, nurses, health system executives, administrators, fellows, residents, students, and others involved in the education of family physicians.
Myerholtz is currently an Associate Professor in the Department of Family Medicine and facilitates the Behavioral Health curriculum for residents. She has been an active member of STFM since 2010, participating in the first class of the Behavioral Science Family Systems Educator fellowship, serving as chair of the Collaborative on Family and Behavioral Health, Member at Large for the STFM Board of Directors, and finally as Program Assessment Chair for STFM.
In looking forward to her new role as leader of STFM, Myerholtz discusses the lessons learned from 2020 and how they can carry the profession forward. “We have all been challenged in 2020 to cross a chasm,” she said. “2020 has taught us that we need to be prepared for the unexpected. We have had to pivot quickly to provide patient care and education in new ways.”
Myerholtz is also focused on the inequities in health care exacerbated by the pandemic, and how STFM can prepare family medicine physicians and learners to better address such disparities going forward.
“The pandemic accelerated the need to address health care inequity,” said Myerholtz. “We also needed to accelerate our development of innovative teaching strategies as we adapted to a world relying heavily on virtual platforms. 2020 has challenged us to think creatively about the future roles of family medicine and the how to prepare learners and educators to have the skills and flexibility to be ready for that future.”
As she approaches the new role, Myerholtz references a quote by David Loyd George that she looks to for inspiration: ”Don’t be afraid to take a big step when one is indicated. You can’t cross a chasm in two small steps.”
“Through a collaborative organization such as STFM, we can ‘take the big step,'” Myerholtz says. “With optimism and confidence, together, we will move our field forward and continue to inspire, teach and transform the future of family medicine.”