May 1, 2023

Family Medicine Professor Michael Fetters wins STFM’s Curtis G. Hames Research Award

Mixed methods researcher honored for his long-term dedication to research in family medicine.

Professor Michael D. Fetters, MD, MPH, MA, of the Department of Family Medicine has been selected as the 2023 Curtis G. Hames Research Award recipient by the Society of Teachers of Family Medicine (STFM).

This prestigious award recognizes scholars who, over the course of their career, have made significant and lasting contributions to the field of family medicine research. The award recipient is selected by a committee representing STFM, the Association of Departments of Family Medicine, and the North American Primary Care Research Group. The Hames Award is supported by the Department of Family Medicine through the Medical College of Georgia Foundation's Hames Endowment at Augusta University.

Members of the Department of Family Medicine at the 2023 STFM Spring conference in Tampa, Florida
Department of Family Medicine staff, including Dr. Mike Fetters, in the light-colored jacket, at the 2023 STFM Spring Conference.

Fetters received the award at the 2023 STFM Annual Spring Conference in Tampa, Fla., on Sunday, April 30. He also did a presentation titled, "Leveraging mixed methods thinking by family medicine clinicians, educators, and researchers" at the conference.

Fetters has published over 200 peer-reviewed articles; co-founded a world-class mixed methods training program and established the renowned, culturally-informed Japanese Family Health Program, both at the University of Michigan; and served as a devoted mentor to countless family medicine researchers around the world over the course of his more than 30-year medical career.

In 2015, he co-founded the Mixed Methods program, which promotes the specialized research methodology and scholarship across academic disciplines through education, training, consulting and mentoring, with the support of the Department of Family Medicine at U-M. As an international expert in mixed methodology, Fetters has taught multiple workshops in the U.S., as well as Canada, Denmark, China, Hong Kong, Qatar, South Africa and Japan, among other countries. 

As a family medicine professor, his research interests have focused on the influence of culture on medical decision-making; training Japanese medical students and residents in the skills and theory of family medicine and evaluating the effects of that training; global primary care development; and cancer screening and prevention. Additionally, he serves as the director of education and research for the Japanese Family Health Program.

Dr. Fetters also sees patients at Family Medicine at Domino's Farms. 

“Dr. Michael Fetters is an exceptional researcher and a true asset to the Department of Family Medicine’s core of scientific faculty,” said James E. Aikens, Ph.D., associate chair for Research Programs and the Max and Buena Lichter Research Professor in the Department of Family Medicine.

“He has made invaluable contributions of the development of mixed methodology, which provides rich analyses of myriad medical subjects and phenomenon. He is very much worthy of STFM’s Hames Award,” Aikens added.

In addition to the Hames award, Fetters has received several other lifetime achievement awards recognizing his years of  service to the field of family medicine and the local community. In 2022, he was honored with the Leonard Tow Humanism in Medicine Award in 2022 from the Gold Foundation. In 2023, he was recognized with  the Award of Excellence from the Japan America Society of Michigan and Southwestern Ontario for his efforts in improving the health of Michigan’s Japanese community through patient care and medical education.

Fetters joins other Curtis Hames awardees from U-M’s Department of Family Medicine including Professor Emerita Caroline Richardson, MD, who received the award in 2019; Professor Diane Harper, MD, MPH, MS, who received the award in 2013; and former department chair and Professor Emeritus Mack T. Ruffin, IV, MD, MPH, who won the award in 2015.

“I would like to express my gratitude and thank the Medical College of Georgia Foundation Board of Directors for honoring me with the 2023 Hames Research Award,” Fetter said. “I gratefully accept this prestigious award that recognizes my career accomplishments in advancing academics in family medicine research and scholarship.”