OMI Family Medicine Seminar Returns for the 25th Time

Apr 26, 2024

After a successful run of seminars in Salzburg’s cold spring, the family medicine week of Duke University focusing on maternal and child health has arrived to warmly remind us of our important 25 years of joint history.

Dr. John W. Ragsdale III served the program for the eighth time, this year to lead a truly outstanding team of faculty members: Drs. Brian Antono, Tiffany Covas, and Andrea B. Dotson, Assistant Professors at Duke’s Department of Family Medicine and Community Health; Dr. John A. Vaughn, Associate Professor at Duke’s Department of Family Medicine and Community Health; Dr. Maria de la Cruz Gomez Pellin, from the Medical University of Vienna; and Dr. Sebastian Huter, head of the Vienna Austrian Society for General Practice and Family Medicine.

Dr. Ragsdale III tells us: “I am in Salzburg for what is my eighth time with OMI at the Family Medicine seminar. I am thrilled to celebrate Duke’s 25th year of collaboration with the OMI”.

Family medicine is all about taking care of people’s health in a comprehensive way. These professionals focus on treating the patient as a whole, not necessarily one specific problem. In their dynamic and personal approach, the family medicine faculty designed a particular agenda to reach the objective of passing on their top-tier expertise to a diverse team of fellows from all around the world. Besides didactic lectures, faculty and fellows divided into different rooms for workshop sessions, giving everyone the opportunity to interact closely in the family medicine way: Where personal and professional intersect beautifully.

Our course director, Dr. Ragsdale III, developed a new curriculum for the seminar series. A three-year plan was designed to cover three main targets of family medicine: Maternal and child health, adult medicine, and geriatrics. As this course was aimed at maternal and child health, it encompassed diverse topics, such as contraceptives, sexually transmitted infections (STI’s), pregnancy, adolescent development, LGBTQ+ health, and even artificial intelligence in medicine.

“We are in year three of our new curriculum which has been grounded in a rotation of geriatric topics in year one, adult medicine topics in year two, and maternal/child health topics in year three.
This year we focused on maternal and child health, involving interesting topics, such as narrative medicine, and the role of AI in our specialty. The fellows were engaged and asked many questions, which made the experience for the faculty much better.”

For the past 25 years of family medicine seminars at the OMI, we have impacted more than 850 fellows from more than 45 different countries. This number is multiplied by an immeasurable number of lives touched with the knowledge received by each of those fellows. This is why the OMI exists, to sustain our most important value: Building bridges between leading institutions and, hence, providing world-class medicine to patients worldwide.

The Duke University Family Medicine seminar not only takes place in Salzburg, but it is also taking place in our Latin-American hub in Mexico City, which is part of our OMI MEX program! Dr. Ragsdale III has generously agreed to lead the OMI MEX seminar focusing on adult medicine, happening in October 14-16, 2024.

In a statement regarding OMI MEX, Dr. Ragsdale III explains, “We added an annual seminar in Mexico and have completed two years of that relationship, going back this next fall. We are reconnecting with some of our Mexican fellows here in Salzburg, which has been a wonderful surprise.”

We are extremely grateful for Dr. Ragsdale III’s involvement in serving as a course director for both OMI Salzburg and OMI MEX seminars in family medicine this year.

Finally, we would like to mention one of the main reasons why our family medicine seminar in Salzburg has had a successful 25 year run so far: Dr. J. Lloyd Michener. Dr. Michener is our former course director and was crucial to the development of this seminar series. His contribution to OMI will continue to resonate with us.

Eleonora Kwon, MD

Eleonora Kwon, MD

OMI fellow from Kazakhstan

Dr. Dotson’s lecture on contraception was very insightful and has a direct impact on my clinical practice. It was a good reminder that we must give the patient a choice and not impose our preconceptions.
Willbroad Kyejo, MD

Willbroad Kyejo, MD

OMI fellow from Tanzania

The narrative medicine workshop was the highlight of the seminar for me. I found great resonance in Dr. Vaughn’s discussion, which focused on the value of understanding and empathy in patient care.
Ana Sofia Martínez Arredondo, MD

Ana Sofia Martínez Arredondo, MD

OMI fellow from Mexico

I appreciated the most that we were provided information and skills for the most vulnerable groups of patients: Mothers, children, and teens.