Julia (Schulte) McNamaraJulia (Schulte) McNamara

Julia (Schulte) McNamara is an aspiring family physician and fourth-year medical student at Central Michigan University. McNamara has experience working in various medical settings, from the high-rise medical offices of Los Angeles to the one-room clinics of rural Michigan and challenging environments in Panama. Throughout these experiences, McNamara said she has embraced the values of resiliency, versatility, and adaptability.

McNamara became inspired to serve as a student representative on the MAFP Board of Directors after attending the 2022 National Conference, where she discovered students' influential role in shaping patient care, physician advocacy, and the future of medical education. 

McNamara's newfound connections with MAFP ignited her passion for advocacy. Eager to make a difference, she contacted experienced Michigan delegates to understand their roles and responsibilities. She registered for advocacy conferences, joined local and state medical societies, and actively pursued leadership positions. Her dedication led her to the role of Family Medicine Interest Group (FMIG) Regional Network Coordinator for the Midwest, a position where she coordinated with students from across the region to address their concerns and ideas.

"Through these experiences, I have met so many people of assorted backgrounds and have come to understand a variety of concerns that medical students and residents alike face," she said. "I wish to now take a more active role in addressing these concerns in any way that I am able."

As a nominee for the Society of Teachers of Family Medicine (STFM) Board of Directors Student Member, McNamara gained invaluable exposure to the intricacies of congressional proceedings, elections, and resolution crafting and proposal processes. This experience changed her belief that only tenured physicians and hospital administrators could drive meaningful change within the healthcare landscape. 

McNamara's dedication extends to mentorship through the CMED Mentorship Program, where she offers guidance and support to undergraduate pre-medical students as they navigate their path to medical school. McNamara said her experiences interacting with individuals from diverse backgrounds, cultures, and socioeconomic statuses have equipped her with a deep understanding of the importance of diversity, inclusivity, and health equity within family medicine. 

"I hope that we may encourage and create a culture where we are accountable, empowered, and intentional leaders, students, and peers," she said.