Wrap-Up: AAFP Summer Cmte Mtgs 2014

Yes, it's that time again. It seems like the only times I get to write a blog post is sitting in an airport somewhere on my way home. Alas, that is what is happening this time. Woke up at 3:30am in Kansas City to start my trek, and to contemplate. The AAFP completed its most recent advocacy meetings discussing topics in areas like governmental advocacy, education, and membership.

Here are a few of my highlights from the meeting:

Family Medicine for America's Health: This is a bold initiative that will be unveiled later this year by the American Academy of Family Physicians. According to their website, "Family Medicine for America's Health is to examine the challenges and opportunities facing Family Medicine today, and define a path forward in the context of a rapidly changing healthcare landscape."

About a year ago, the "Family of Family Medicine" organizations came together came together to start these discussions. Since then, there has been extensive national research, multiple feedback sessions with stakeholders, regular updates on the initial stages of the initiative, and more.

I wish I could share more, if I knew more. I think it's very exciting that the specialty is taking this step of outlining the problems of our broken healthcare system (which we already know), but also seeking out feedback for solutions from AAFP members, Family Physicians, and key stakeholders. I'm curious what the final report will reveal.

Family Physician Networking and association update: It's very difficult for an association to try to address all needs of its members, because of limitations of financial and staff resources. But, recently, the AAFP created an new opportunity for Family Physicians with similar interests to network and "find a home" in the Academy. These groups are called "Member Interest Groups," and the AAFP committee I serve on has its task to review applications of these potential groups. I think this is a great opportunity for the Academy to reach an entirely new group of Family Physicians for networking and communication.

Family Physician Friends and Fellowship: As I have said in previous blog posts, meetings like this energize me and recharge me. Catching up with old friends is always fun, as well as meeting new people. Last night, there was even fireworks to conclude the evening!

I have always said this in the past, but I really hope to write more about my experiences this weekend. From a social media front, more and more people are approaching me at these Family Medicine meetings about their excitement for utilizing social media. It's been a slow growth process, but I'm happy with the results up to this point! Time to go home!