Mary Beth Miller, MD of St. Francis, Kansas Wins National Teaching Award
WICHITA, KANSAS – Mary Beth Miller, MD, a family physician at Cheyenne County Clinic in St. Francis, Kan., is the 2012 AAFP Exemplary Teaching Award winner in the volunteer category. The American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP) selects two national winners - one in the full time category and one in the volunteer category. Dr. Miller attended the AAFP Congress of Delegates in Philadelphia this week and received her award at that time.
The AAFP Exemplary Teaching Awards recognize family medicine faculty members who have demonstrated exemplary teaching skills or have developed and implemented innovative new teaching models or programs.
She is a volunteer clinical assistant professor at the University of Kansas School of Medicine-Wichita; Kansas Primary Care Research Network participant; clinical preceptor, Wichita State University Physician Assistant Program; and clinical preceptor, Fort Hays State Nurse Practitioner Program.
Dr. Miller says she has always liked to “figure things out.” She enjoyed science and knew in college that she wanted to go to medical school but doubted herself because she felt that coming from a small town in Nebraska of population 420 meant she wouldn’t be “smart” enough. So she settled for being a medical technologist; but the desire for medical school never left her. She finally completed medical school after being a med tech for 12 years. “Mentors like Dr. Rick Kellerman, Dr. Chuck Allred, and Dr. Richard Ohmart played a big part in that insight. I never knew I liked teaching, it just happened. Again, initially, I felt I wasn't smart enough to teach. Now I realize teaching is more about connecting with each student in the specific way that helps them learn.”
“All the years I spent feeling I wasn't ‘smart’ enough to do things, I have finally realized that any of us can learn anything. But our success with that is largely affected by how we get along with people. I think a person is better at any career when they work well with others. I also realize there is no end to the learning. As long as you like that, medicine is the field to be in. I have always enjoyed being on the learning end! Even when you teach, you learn,” commented Dr. Miller.
Rick Kellerman, MD (Professor and Chair, Dept. of Family & Community Medicine, KU School of Medicine-Wichita) writes: “Some people make a permanent imprint on your psyche. For me, Mary Beth Miller, MD is one of those individuals. I remember the very first day that I met her when I served as her preceptor for Rural Health Weekend during the spring of her first year of medical school in 1993. She was smart, personable, enthusiastic, motivated, charming, and yearning to learn. These attributes are as true today as they were almost 20 years ago.” Dr. Miller is also the recipient of the 2011 Doug Parks Community Volunteer Preceptor Award from the Department of Family & Community Medicine at KU School of Medicine-Wichita.
John Dorsch, MD (Director of Rural Programs, Dept. of Family & Community Medicine, KU School of Medicine-Wichita) writes: “As director of rural programs, I have placed several medical students with Dr. Miller. Students return from their experience inspired by the relationships and trust between Dr. Miller and her patients. I cannot think of a better example for students than Mary Beth Miller, MD. I believe if all students had an opportunity to work with a preceptor of Dr. Miller’s caliber, more doctors would go to rural areas of practice.”
Megan Brown, MD, a resident in her first year at Smoky Hill Family Medicine Residency Program, contributes: “Most people could not tell you where St Francis is located, yet it has become a very popular place for students across many disciplines, in part, because of the exemplary teaching by Dr. Miller. When I think about the kind of physician I want to be in my future practice, I can think of no better role model than Dr. Miller. She is a shining example of family medicine… that wonderful combination of teacher, friend, and advocate.”
Dr. Miller is a member of the American Academy of Family Physicians; Kansas Academy of Family Physicians, currently serving as vice president; American Medical Association; Kansas Medical Society; Saline County Medical Society; American Medical Women’s Association; and American Medical Director’s Association.
Current appointments include: Statewide Trauma Council (northwest KS rep.); Family Doctor of the Day volunteer; Medical Director, Good Samaritan Village Nursing Center; Medical Director, Cheyenne County EMS; District 297 School Board member; Kansas Health care Collaborative member; and Kansas Patient Centered Medical Home Initiative clinical site.
About the KAFP
The Kansas Academy of Family Physicians is the largest medical specialty society in the state, with a total of 1,570 members. The mission of the Kansas Academy of Family Physicians is to promote access to, and excellence in, health care for all Kansans through education and advocacy for family physicians and their patients. The KAFP is affiliated with the American Academy of Family Physicians, the national association for family physicians. For more information about the KAFP visit the KAFP Web site at www.kafponline.org.
About the AAFP
Founded in 1947, the AAFP represents 105,900 physicians and medical students nationwide. It is the only medical society devoted solely to primary care.
Approximately one in four of all office visits are made to family physicians. That is 240 million office visits each year — nearly 87 million more than the next largest medical specialty. Today, family physicians provide more care for America’s underserved and rural populations than any other medical specialty. Family medicine’s cornerstone is an ongoing, personal patient-physician relationship focused on integrated care.
To learn more about the specialty of family medicine, the AAFP's positions on issues and clinical care, and for downloadable multi-media highlighting family medicine, visit www.aafp.org/media. For information about health care, health conditions and wellness, please visit the AAFP’s award-winning consumer website, www.FamilyDoctor.org.