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Quillen College of Medicine students chosen for national leadership positions

Lindsey Merkle Moore and Austin Witt

JOHNSON CITY (Dec. 5, 2019) – Two students at East Tennessee State University’s Quillen College of Medicine, Austin Witt and Lindsey Merkle Moore, were recently chosen to serve in national leadership positions with the American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP).

Witt, a fourth-year medical student, was appointed to the AAFP Commission on Membership and Member Services. As such, he represents the medical student voice on this committee that helps the AAFP improve the student pipeline into primary care and ensure that all members’ needs are addressed.

“This is a continuing string of leadership successes for Austin,” said Dr. Reid Blackwelder, chair of the Department of Family Medicine at Quillen.

Witt has also served as Quillen’s student representative to the Association of American Medical College’s Organization of Student Representatives. Through that role, he was elected to two terms as a National Delegate on Student Affairs, a position that afforded him many opportunities to provide insight and advocate for issues affecting medical students across the country.

In addition to Witt’s recent AAFP appointment, Merkle Moore, a second-year Quillen student, was appointed as a Family Medicine Interest Group (FMIG) regional coordinator. She is one of only five such coordinators in the country. 

In this role, she will coordinate the activities of all the FMIGs in her region, and mentor those groups’ officers. 

“This is an impressive recognition of her leadership and passion,” Blackwelder said. “It is likely also to springboard her to other national leadership positions if she chooses to seek them out.”

Other national appointments announced earlier this year include Chase Mussard, a fourth-year Quillen student, who served as a regional coordinator last year and is the AAFP National FMIG Coordinator this year. In addition, Margaret Miller, a fourth year student, was recently elected the AAFP Board of Directors Student Member, the highest leadership position available to students. 

“I am very proud of our students that we continue to make inroads on a national level,” Blackwelder said. “Thanks to them, Quillen and ETSU have a very strong national presence as leaders in primary care.”

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