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Tuesday May 23, 2017

Social Media Campaign Touts Family Medicine

"Ready or not, here I come. You can’t hide, gonna find you." -- The Fugees

For more than 15 years the AAFP, in partnership with our colleagues at the Council for Academic Family Medicine  (CAFM), has hosted the Family Medicine Advocacy Summit (FMAS).

Each year, the summit (formerly known as the Family Medicine Advocacy Conference, or FMCC) brings hundreds of family physicians, medical students and chapter executives to Washington, D.C., to learn from leading experts, meet with their representatives and senators and advancing policies of importance to family medicine and patients. On the first day of this two-day event, attendees hear from policy experts, members of Congress and other thought leaders who share their perspective on the most timely health policy issues. On day two, participants meet with their elected officials.

The summit is an exciting and impactful event, but its currently limited to those physically attending the meeting in Washington, D.C. Recognizing that advocacy comes in multiple forms, the AAFP sought to reframe, rebrand and reinforce our advocacy efforts taking place in Washington by using the voices of thousands of family physicians to amplify our advocacy messages across the nation. Our goal was to create a designated day where the nation (at least the family medicine nation) was speaking up and speaking out on the importance of family medicine and primary care.   

After some brainstorming, the AAFP settled on the formation and launch of the Family Medicine Day of Action -- a single day solely dedicated to raising awareness and amplifying the importance of family medicine on a local, regional and national level. Today is that day! Today is Family Medicine Day of Action.

Right now, more than 250 family physicians and medical students, from 42 states, are storming Capitol Hill to meet with their representative and senators to advocate on behalf of family physicians and their patients. Participants will be providing real-time updates on their meetings. You can follow all the activity by using the hashtag #FMAS17. Our messages are simple and aligned with our strategic objectives:

Most of you are not in Washington, D.C. today. Sad!  

However, we invite you to take a few minutes today to "advocate in place." We are calling on family physicians across the country to join us in promoting family medicine and the value of comprehensive and continuous primary care. Here are three things you can do today, to amplify our message:

  • Stay Well Soon -- The AAFP is putting a twist on the classic "get well soon" greeting card to draw attention to the importance of wellness and prevention. I urge you to send a "Stay Well Soon" postcard via your social media platforms (Facebook, Twitter) to your colleagues, patients and friends. The postcard urges recipients to Stay Well Soon by focusing on prevention and wellness and encourages them to see their family doctor. They will also be able to share or re-tweet the postcard.
  • Speak Out -- Join your colleagues in Washington, D.C., by advocating for the reauthorization of the teaching health center program. I encourage you to use the AAFP Speak Out program to send a letter to your representative and senators  urging them to support this highly successful graduate medical education program.
  • Donate to FamMedPAC -- One of the most impactful actions you can take is it to lend your financial support to the only political action committee that represents the professional interest of family physicians. Our current political environment is noisy, and it has never been more important for our collective voices to be heard. To do this, we need a really loud megaphone. Help us build that megaphone by donating today.

Wonk Hard with ZDoggMD
Our 2017 Family Medicine Day of Action activities actually launched Sunday night, when AAFP Board Chair Wanda Filer, M.D., M.B.A., joined Zubin Damania, M.D., (perhaps better known as ZDoggMD) on his Facebook Live program, Against Medical Advice. During her segment with ZDoggMD, Dr. Filer outlined the value of full-spectrum family medicine to patients and our health care system. They also discussed how family medicine, in the words of ZDoggMD himself, is "the conduit of moving from a sick care system to a health care system." The segment concluded with a discussion on the important role family physicians play in promoting wellness and prevention.

Damania, an internal medicine physician, has emerged as a leading and impactful voice for primary care physicians. His musical parodies take on -- and in many instances take down -- some of the timeliest and most frustrating issues facing primary care physicians. His EHR State of Mind is worth four minutes of your time.


Very respectfully, as an AAFP member of 30 years, what might a medical student have to share with a legislator regarding the concerns, needs, and plights of medical care "in the trenches"? Their physician mentors and future medical partners should be there for sure, but as usual, we are busy seeing patients. It would be interesting to have a list of the physician participants in Washington today. Would we find their present practice involvements represent independent practices, academic practices, large health system employee practices, or administration positions? Who is it that is standing toe to toe with our legislators today...sharing the concerns, needs, and plights of the FP 2017? Just curious. Maybe the majority of physicians present in Washington today are from rural independent practices (OK, highly unlikely). Well, whoever they are, I sincerely trust they clearly understand the majority's concerns, needs, and plights...for if not, well, it was a nice trip. One thing's for sure, things are a mess in primary- caresville.

Posted by jeff taber on May 23, 2017 at 01:34 PM CDT #

thank you , Shawn. This short note reflects admiration for your work for us.

As I listen and talk in the NYS ROMC [regional oversight and management commission of NY State, which includes payers,provider systems, industry buyers, and public health and payers-and me ] of the NYS DOH SHIP [state healthcare improvement program], I have come to realize that MACRA is a ponzi scheme.

Bear with me for a few sentences!

A Ponzi scheme (/'p?n.zi/; also a Ponzi game) is a fraudulent investment operation where the operator, an individual or organization, pays returns to its investors from new capital paid to the operators by new investors, rather than from profit earned through legitimate sources.


So, as an independent family doc since 1980, if I meet [non-evidenced] measures by investing time and money, I still pay to the big boxes [which manage risk by having a squadron of chart reviewers] to upregulate coding/risk numbers, thereby transferring my investment in order to pay the big boxes as a higher fee for service for them.

With no evidence of incentives/p4p/ptn to improve HEALTH OUTCOMES in populations [Cochrane], our independent small practice billings are transferred to well funded big box providers. The owner of the scheme [payers] has ZERO RISK, as it is revenue neutral.

If you feel this MACRA strategy a] is designed for for the health of the public, or b] is good for the health of the public, please respond.

Bob Morrow, who can't believe how far health for financial transactions has overtaken health care for a good product to improve the public's health. I had minor surgery today, and am left aghast and uncomfortable

This defines a ponzi scheme, which is illegal in the US. Except not-for-profits appear to be protected parties.

Posted by robert morrow on May 23, 2017 at 07:03 PM CDT #

Thanks for representing us. Thanks also to those who serve silently day-in and day-out, walking the talk and more. It seems like everyone has a megaphone in hand nowadays on healthcare matters. The glue to medicine as a profession from my vantage point is the doctor in the primary care arena. Perhaps this is more so as the market is becoming most savvy in selecting risks and discarding the unwanted, and this is where primary care is most valued. If you add economic forces into this mix, it's becoming possible more segregated, even if this was an unintended consequence of the current insurance model.

Posted by Michael N., MD on May 31, 2017 at 03:58 PM CDT #

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About the Author

Shawn Martin, AAFP Senior Vice President of Advocacy, Practice Advancement and Policy.

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The opinions and views expressed here are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent or reflect the opinions and views of the American Academy of Family Physicians. This blog is not intended to provide medical, financial, or legal advice. All comments are moderated and will be removed if they violate our Terms of Use.