The other day I got a hilarious email from an AAFP agent, extolling the pride and wonder of being part of such a prestigious and influential organization. I reread the letter a couple times and thought it seemed a bit incomplete, so I decided to dress it up just a tad. The italics are mine, but Dr. Stewart is welcome to them…
“I do what I do best with help from the AAFP
On a daily basis, I am able to enhance my patient’s lives through my work as a family physician. And on a daily basis, my AAFP membership provides me with the resources to do what I do best. (And by ‘resources’, I don’t mean actual cash. But their advocacy of expensive EHR’s, quality-based payment, and patient-centered medical homes is bound to pay off in a really big way, soon.)
I am faced with challenges of patients with diabetes, hypertension, HIV, and other chronic illness that are influenced by social, economic, and spiritual issues (I also see a lot of chronic pain, that I carefully manage with counseling, reassurance, and NSAID’s, until my patient satisfaction scores are threatened – then I use opioids, and pray that I won’t pop up on the DEA radar.). I treat the entire person, and recognize and address those issues that affect my patients’ physical well-being. (And I realize that the best ways to address morbid obesity and intractable hypertension include a sensible diet and exercise program; which is why I write so many scripts for neuropathic pain, restless legs, and CPAP machines). I’m an AAFP member so I can be supported while I support my patients. (Often with pre-approvals for powered wheelchairs, and applications for disability …which the patients usually walk in to get).
I’m an AAFP member for access to awesome CME resources through not only the AAFP Family Medicine Experience (formerly known as Assembly) (because ‘Experience’ is so much more meaningful) but also Board review and other live CME courses and free, online CME opportunities (And there is plenty of time after seeing forty patients in clinic to spend another hour satisfying the AAFP’s colleagues over at the ABFM to keep up with MOC). Members have the ability to document and track our CME online and through the mobile app, which takes a bit of stress out of our busy lives. (Stressful nothing, this is fun!)
I recently saw an elderly mom for the first time (she did not have a primary care provider–only a cardiologist) who was referred to me by her daughter. Through conversation, I also found out that I treat her adult son (The cardiologist only does consultations, so I sure hope the hospitalist is on this week so I don’t have to admit her. Medicare doesn’t exactly make it worth my while to get up early to round). Because I know the family, I am in a position to provide the best care possible. My AAFP membership provides me with the resources to do what I do daily for the sake of my patients and my community (like the “on-demand, in-depth ICD-10 Educational Series and the point-of-care referential flash cards (multiple sets available at a discount)”). The AAFP offers an array of clinical and public health information to help keep me up to date (Because if I can’t meet my quality scores for CMS and Blue Cross, I don’t know how I’ll make my student loan payments)
I have been active in the AAFP since I was a medical student (back when “reimbursement” just applied to those greedy private practice guys). I’m an AAFP member so I can connect with professional colleagues who have mentored and helped mold me into the person I am today, both personally and professionally (If I suck up to them, maybe they’ll teach me how to do spider veins and Botox). The AAFP encourages diversity and recognizes the differences that we can all bring to the table to encourage the best health for America (Except when it comes to quality markers. On the other hand “the amended resolution during the May 2 business session” is going to make a real difference in recruiting new family physicians).
Being a family physician isn’t easy, but we don’t have to do it alone. Join the AAFP to get the resources you need for yourself and your patients (dammit, why didn’t I go into cardiology?).
Ada Stewart, MD, FAAFP
AAFP Member (because more letters after my name must count for something, right?)Tweet