Monday was the first full day at the Congress of Delegates of the American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP) in San Diego. For those unfamiliar, this is the annual meeting of the organization where health policy is debated and organizational statements are made.
One of the cool things about a blog is that you can look back at previous years to see what I have written in the past. Just two years ago, I wrote a blog post called "AAFP Embraces Social Media." It was in May 2011 at the NCSC meeting where AAFP leadership really jumped on the social media bandwagon. It was at 2011 #AAFPCOD when, for the first time ever, portions of the Congress would have a live video stream for all to see.
Just a year ago, I wrote an essay called "Social Media and #AAFPCOD." In this essay, I wrote this: "Through the 3 days of the Congress of Delegates meeting in Philadelphia, those on twitter were able to get 3.7 million impressions on the internet. Now, I know that other meetings do a lot better. But, given that social media was not even on the AAFP radar just 2 years ago, this is a huge accomplishment."
Fast forward to this year, 2013, and as of Monday afternoon, there were already 2.1 million impressions from more #AAFPCOD tweeters than I have seen in past years. Again, this year, selected sessions of the meeting will have live internet video streaming. Unlike previous years, the AAFP organization is utilizing multiple social media platforms like twitter, storify, instagram, and ustream. Collected tweets from Monday's sessions are in the storify at the bottom of this post.
I'm very excited that the American Academy of Family Physicians and the Family Medicine Revolution (#FMRevolution) are continuing to increase their use of digital communication and social media to spread the message of Family Medicine Healthcare Policy Advocacy. The challenge will always be to continue this high social media use following the meeting, but each year, my optimism continues to grow. As I have said on multiple occasions in the past, if We, as Family Physicians, cannot be advocates for ourselves, who will?