Family Docs Assemble!



The AAFP Assembly is almost upon us again.  It will be in Washington, DC in October.  I have been to a couple of them.  One was to launch the Placebo Journal in 2001 (where I was vendor and forcefully thrown out) and the other was few years back when I and a few others dressed in Lederhosen (hey, it was October!) to celebrate 10 years of being thrown out.  It looks like I may be going again this year because it is close to me and I would like to see some old friends.  Here is the email advertisement sent to me by my organization:


Celebrate family medicine again at Assembly.

Attend. The 2014 AAFP Assembly Assembly has evolved since you last attended. Experience more CME, ways to connect, and three general sessions that address what’s happening in your specialty, practice, and life. Connect with like-minded peers. Learn about new practice options. Improve patient outcomes. And enjoy yourself in elegant and surprising Washington, DC.

How you practice family medicine is with skill, knowledge, and compassion. Why is simpler. You were called.

It didn’t hit me at first.  In fact, my colleague had to point it out to me:

You were called? They make it seem like I was called to family practice the same way nuns and priests are called.  Give up on money, ITS A CALLING, NOT A JOB. I am amazed how much the AAFP has abdicated any power it had.  Remember, it’s a calling and it’s ok to make $67,000/ year!

Yes, the AAFP really is that lame.  They are still granola.   They still want to give our profession away to LELTs.  To them, we took a vow of poverty.   That being said, you just need a $600 membership, a $700 conference fee, three nights in a hotel at $300/night, food money, travel money and you are alright with them.

  20 comments for “Family Docs Assemble!

  1. Bob D'Agostino
    April 24, 2014 at 1:02 am

    Don’t attend these conferences any more–I have to work. Can we get video of you getting thrown out again?

  2. Bill (Sir Womb-de-Tomb)
    April 23, 2014 at 4:25 pm

    Once I’d done all the big cities and taken the side trips (like Bonnie & Clyde’s trail outside of Dallas) I was done with the AAFP annual meeting. Particularly since the drug companies don’t give away piles of free stuff anymore. My wife and friends would start with the biggest tote bags we could find and fill them with pens and other junk. The courses they teach all seem like basic courses for new graduates (that they should have learned in residency). If you really want to learn something, the American College of Emergency Physicians has much better and more interesting scientific sessions. I agree, AAFP is out of touch. No, I wasn’t “called” in 1972, I was propagandized by Marcus Welby in the days before insurance companies beat us all into submission by awarding premium pay to surgeons.

  3. George
    April 23, 2014 at 4:04 pm

    What’s a LELT?

    • Doug Farrago
      April 23, 2014 at 4:46 pm

      Less Educated, Less Trained

      • Sir Lance-a-lot
        April 23, 2014 at 9:37 pm

        They can think what they want, but I’ll be impressed when one of them has a patient with a cold, a cut, asthma, or an infection, and grows the nuts to treat him himself, instead of sending him to me.

        Call me a jerk, but I think that knowing every damn thing there is to know about a kidney, but not being able to treat a person, is pitiful.

        • Doug Farrago
          April 24, 2014 at 8:32 am

          Unfortunately, George, your douchebag quotient is starting to rise. Not sure why you want to pick a fight here but I won’t let it happen. I own the delete button to this puppy.

        • Sir-Lance-a-Lot
          April 24, 2014 at 9:22 am

          George, are you a specialist, or just a jerk?

          If you’re a specialist, when was the last time you took the thirty seconds necessary to open a paronychia, rather than send your patient through four hours of travelling and waiting to have it done by someone else?

          If you’re just a jerk, when was the last time you actually did something to help somebody?

        • Pat
          April 24, 2014 at 12:19 pm

          Sorry, I’m still stuck on “any person with a college degree and slightly above average intelligence could be trained to address most of these issues. ” Just…damn…wow…

          I hope med students are closely following this exchange, because it shows them part of what they will be up against.

      • Pat
        April 24, 2014 at 9:49 am

        George, what is your area of expertise? I’d like to know the basis of your perspective.

        • Doug Farrago
          April 24, 2014 at 10:54 am

          Georgie, this will be your last entry. Like the other militant LELTs that attack this site, you no longer have privileges to comment. I will leave this on so that the others will see that you responded but, alas, you are done. Oh, and training and education matter. This is indisputable.

        • Sir-Lance-a-Lot
          April 24, 2014 at 12:12 pm

          “… most of the health issues that vex our nation and cost the most money are not tremendously complicated to address. People are unable or unwilling to control their weight, blood pressure and sugar…”

          Well, actually, the roots of all of these problems are psychosocial, and range broadly through fields such as urban planning (most people live too far away from where they need to go to be able to walk or bicycle, so they drive and get fat), to tax and wage structures (a huge proportion of the low-income class work two or three jobs, and thus have little time to sleep or exercise), to sociology / anthropology, and their relation to legislation (laws that encourage women to get pregnant, but not be married, so as to continue to collect welfare, easy access to Disability status, with better payouts than unemployment for those who have been laid off, massive entry of women into the workforce in the ’70s and ’80s, creating an environment where a two income household is now a necessity, rather than an anomaly), so, yes, you don’t have to be a doctor to solve them, and, in fact, doctors shouldn’t even be expected to solve them, but, no, they ARE tremendously complicated to address.

          A doctor’s job is to treat and prevent disease.
          Obesity is not a disease – it is a natural condition that arises from eating more food than you need, and is an adaptation in case of famine, but can result in elevated blood sugar and pressure.

          We can treat the blood pressure and sugar medically, but the obesity is an issue for the social and psychological arenas to deal with, not the medical arena, at least not properly so.

          Your response, though, shows that you really haven’t thought about this all that much, and reinforces Doug’s point.

        • Doug Farrago
          April 24, 2014 at 12:45 pm

          Declaring that education and training DOES NOT matter is the more disturbing point.

        • Pat
          April 24, 2014 at 9:47 pm

          Doug, forgive me for continuing with Ghost-of-Loser, but I couldn’t hold back…

          Ghost you are mixing half-facts with an obviously damaged self-esteem, providing med students with a good example of the envy and unfounded attacks they can expect. You are a liar.

          “We have a horrific regulatory burden because so many physicians were on the take for so long.” True, but not in the way you imply, which is the lying accusation that many physicians – i.e. those that paid the damn dues you could not – have been corrupt all along.

          “We have a PhRMA code because physicians were living like kings sucking at the teat of the industry.” That does not begin to describe the majority of physicians and you know it. Guess you’re still hurt over that fancy dinner from which you were excluded. Hey, someone had to do the scut, and that would be you: support personnel.

          “My malpractice premium has quadrupled in the last decade mostly to cover MD/DO lawsuits.” Waaahhh, poor l’il LELT’s life being ruined by evil, greedy docs. Of course, some of them may have been sued over LELT missed diagnoses.

          I work full-time ER, and sometimes with a damn good PA. But never, ever does he whine or think for a moment that he is on my level. Sometimes he has a good thought I do not, and I’m happy to give credit. But in the end it is my call, and always my call.

          Casper, you haven’t begun to see surly. You think you deserve standing with me because you taught a resident a procedure? Nurses taught me to do IV’s and foleys, but they never confuse themselves with me. Keep your respect, I don’t need or want it. While you’re at it, search for the self-respect obviously lacking in someone who needs to snipe at their betters. No lack of self-esteem here because we all earned it.

          One is not a “consummate grouche” to resent being told to “go play the market” by someone who is trying through fraud and political muscle to undermine my worth.

          • Doug Farrago
            April 25, 2014 at 6:54 am

            Sadly, Pat, poor George had two more responses but I deleted them. I really don’t want to even read any more militant LELT stuff. Sorry. You know what the funny thing is? His email started with the letters Doc! Talk about delusional and a wannabe.

  4. kurt
    April 23, 2014 at 2:28 pm

    A.A.F.P. Academic A–holes F’ing Pri_ks

  5. Ken
    April 23, 2014 at 12:17 pm

    I have nothing but contempt for the AAFP and regret every penny I gave them before I wised up and quit paying dues. It is a group in dire need of Viagra due to its severe flaccidity.

  6. R Watkins
    April 23, 2014 at 10:57 am

    AAFP leadership: criminally stupid or totally corrupt. Discuss.

  7. Randy
    April 23, 2014 at 10:49 am

    When I was a resident and a military doctor I was proud to be in the AAFP. At the time they seemed focused on advancing the image of FP and helping FPs gain hospital privileges.

    Since then both I and the AAFP have changed. As a solo doctor I realize the AAFP has little knowledge or concern for what I do all day, and has adopted a policy of supporting whatever the government wants. I of course ended my membership long ago. I did look into rejoining thinking maybe my perspective might do some good, but it is difficult to get back into without jumping through a bunch of hoops. Like the AMA it seems to be mainly an organization catering mainly to academics, students and residents.

  8. Pat
    April 23, 2014 at 10:40 am

    The last AAFP conference I went to was in 2003, and spoke volumes about that congress of masochists. It was in New Orleans, and the last night was to feature a “family-friendly” concert. In the primordial birth swamp of blues and jazz, the AAFP hired … Kenny Loggins.

    Heaven only knows what bland, brain-washed crap they’ll roll out in “elegant and surprising” D.C. CME in front of my home desktop, where the coffee and music are both a lot better, is a lot more fun and a lot more cost-effective.

  9. Sir Lance-a-lot
    April 23, 2014 at 6:47 am

    “… you just need a $600 membership, a $700 conference fee, three nights in a hotel at $300/night, food money, travel money and you are alright with them.”

    Plus those super-special, AAFP-only CME credits…

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