STFM NOLA Reflections



As I start writing this, I have an hour before boarding the plane for home. So, I apologize up front if this post is not as polished as I would like. I'm trying my best to block out all those thoughts of what is in store for me, from a work standpoint, when the wheels touchdown at home airport. These are the last few hours before reality hits me right in the face again. So, what follows below are just some random thoughts from the last few days:

  • New Orleans: Definitely a different place then I was here the last time which was pre-Katrina. A different feel, a different energy, a different type of crowd walking around. Sorry if this sounds negative, but even though some of the buildings are rebuilt, the richness of the NOLA culture still seems to be a little off. I know I'll get hate mail on this, but I have never heard, "I can't help you, that's not my job" as much as I have this week.
  • STFM Annual Spring Conference: This was my first time at this particular meeting. I tweeted about this, but it seems that there was a lot of career planning going on. I couldn't help but get caught up in the hype. Could I really give up full time clinical practice for a full time academic position at a residency program or at a medical school? Or, maybe even consider an career as an executive physician in like a management position? At this point, I get so much gratification in what I'm doing at home and I cannot forsee me giving that up right now. 
  • Family Medicine and Social Media: I'm very happy with what was accomplished this week in regards to that. I ran a live internet radio show from my New Orleans hotel, which had its technical glitches, but overall, I'm happy with t product that was produced. With the assistance and the blessing of STFM, we were able to broadcast two sessions (Social Media session One, Social Media session two) live on the internet through their ustream page. I wrote blog posts with my observations from Day One,  Day Two, and, of course, this one. Finally, we were able to have a live twitter chat called #FamMedChat in which there were people chatting in person from the meeting and off site people as typical with twitter chats. Hopefully what we accomplished this week will set a new standard for Social Media at Family Medicine meetings.
  • What Is A Family Physician? - At every meeting I go to, the question comes up: How can we better market ourselves to our patients, to payors, and to legislators? The follow-up questions are always this: Why can't we agree on how to describe ourselves? What is a Family Physician? How do we define the term? I've been thinking and thinking and thinking about this. It's not that I don't have a definition. It's just how to come up with that "soundbite" definition for that marketing campaign or marketing material. There is no easy answer, but the Family Medicine community needs to come up with one and agree on it. I praise Mark Ryan for taking a stab at this. I also invite you to check out the comment by a medical student following his post. 
  • Reconnecting: I was pleasantly surprised by the number of people I knew from my AAFP student/resident leadership days. Was a great time to catch up and reconnect. It's hard to believe it's been 10 years since I got involved with AAFP on a big basis. My how time flies and seeing were people are now.
  • New Twitter Friends: When I go to meetings now, one of the things I really look forward to is meeting "in real life" the people whom I've only met on twitter. You kind of know their "twitter personna," but is that really them? And, what will they think of me? It was nice to connect the avatar to the real person. I know I have found some lifetime friends in this group - it's just which ones - HA!
  • Lecture Circuit: I have to tell you that April was very busy for me doing a lot of traveling and speaking. Now that it's May and I'm looking back, the first part was really fun, but the latter part of the month was starting to wear on me. And I kept asking myself if I would consider doing a lot more traveling to do talks. Now, I'm not sure. Maybe I'm just a boring home body, I've missed being at home and I'm really ready to go home.

I hope you've enjoyed my coverage of the Annual Spring Conference of the Society of Teachers of Family Medicine meeting from New Orleans. I apologize to all my twitter followers who weren't really interested in my #stfm tweets. Feel free to re-follow me now - Hehe. Back to work tomorrow for me. Hm. When am I on call this week?