AAFP Helps Family Docs Take Flight by Pat Conrad MD


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?)

Douglas Farrago MD

Douglas Farrago MD is a full-time practicing family doc in Forest, Va. He started Forest Direct Primary Care where he takes no insurance and bills patients a monthly fee. He is board certified in the specialty of Family Practice. He is the inventor of a product called the Knee Saver which is currently in the Baseball Hall of Fame. The Knee Saver and its knock-offs are worn by many major league baseball catchers. He is also the inventor of the CryoHelmet used by athletes for head injuries as well as migraine sufferers. Dr. Farrago is the author of four books, two of which are the top two most popular DPC books. From 2001 – 2011, Dr. Farrago was the editor and creator of the Placebo Journal which ran for 10 full years. Described as the Mad Magazine for doctors, he and the Placebo Journal were featured in the Washington Post, US News and World Report, the AP, and the NY Times. Dr. Farrago is also the editor of the blog Authentic Medicine which was born out of concern about where the direction of healthcare is heading and the belief that the wrong people are in charge. This blog has been going daily for more than 15 years Article about Dr. Farrago in Doximity Email Dr. Farrago – [email protected] 

  4 comments for “AAFP Helps Family Docs Take Flight by Pat Conrad MD

  1. Steve O'
    August 8, 2015 at 7:49 pm

    The purpose of the Party in a morally bankrupt dictatorship is to inflame the loyalty of the masses to do the Party’s bidding.

  2. Ken
    August 8, 2015 at 11:50 am

    They always whip out “I get to treat the whole family” story as if this supposed to make up for all the other hardships of the job. At least she skipped the dying grandmother story.

  3. Bill Ameen MD
    August 8, 2015 at 10:13 am

    Wow! This lady must have done her residency in North Korea…someone has brainwashed her! I’m still a member for one more year so I can get CME by doing the clinical quizzes in the scrawny little journal because I’m too lazy to travel. I remember getting the hard copy of Family Practice Management and how it oozed glory for Family Practice. Having given it up, the lack of stress is incredible. Like Calvin & Hobbes, “the days are just packed!”

    • Steve O'
      August 8, 2015 at 12:49 pm

      Are they hiring in North Korea? Do you have any references?

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