AAFP Fighting for Crumbs


I remember hearing this issue of “translation costs” when I worked for a hospital.  In fact, a urologist I knew broke down the cost of complying with paying for an interpreter and he ended up losing money for the visit.  The interpreter was the only one who made money!  Well, now the AAFP is fighting back:

The AAFP’s reaction to a newly proposed regulation offered by HHS’ Office of Civil Rights was quick and to the point: Either fund the costs small physician practices would bear to comply with the portion of the rule regarding interpreters — estimated at $1,135 per practice per year — or eliminate the offending requirement.

Only twenty years late but who is counting?

AAFP Board Chair Robert Wergin, M.D., made it clear that the AAFP is a strong supporter of culturally proficient health care and the inclusion of cultural and ethnic topics in medical and residency training curriculum.
Make no mistake: The AAFP strongly encourages culturally proficient health care and has specific policy that addresses such issues and encourages medical schools and residency training programs to include cultural and ethnic topics in their curriculum, said Wergin.

I just threw up in my mouth a little. Can the AAFP kiss ass even more?

So, this is their big issue?  I have something on my phone called Google Translate.  I talk into it and it converts it into the language of my non- English speaking patient.  It also works in reverse.  End of story.  Am I the only one who thinks out of the box here?  But, by all means, you keep fighting for us, AAFP.  I am strong supporter of your proficiency, your inclusiveness, your encouragement and your…….whatever.


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] 

  5 comments for “AAFP Fighting for Crumbs

  1. Steve O'
    November 17, 2015 at 7:27 am

    Story, sad but true…

    “include cultural and ethnic topics in their curriculum.”

    First, learn how to speak the patient’s language. If you can do that, they pretty much don’t care if you’re a dope. You are actually trying.
    I speak enough Spanish to conduct a decent medical interview. A hell of a lot of an interview is gesturing and eye contact. Sorry, that’s how interviews USED to be. Now it’s staring ‘n’ pecking checkboxes.

    K, here’s the story. I was at a McMedicine practice, and I had a native Spanish speaker with whom I was shuffling along adequately with. Stop! the practice police said.

    I was not certified in Spanish. I had to have a translator.

    “What does it take to be certified in Spanish?” “Well, Dr. X is a native speaker, he’s certified. Otherwise you need to take a class.”

    “What about Dr. Y?” I asked slyly. Because Dr. Y is third-generation Whitebread Spanish, and he doesn’t know five words in Spanish. I had to help him out, sometimes.

    “No, he’s certified.” Without probing too far, he was racially certified. Meaning he had the right last name. I was good – I did not scream.

    I reassured the practice police – I can conduct an interview with a non-English-speaking Mexican.
    “Don’t say Mexican – it’s socially incorrect.”

    “No, chingando baboso gigante pendejo is socially incorrect. That’s what I call a Mexican patient who’s late for my appointments.”

    Fortunately, nobody knew what I was talking about.

    So, I had a translator. Most of the time, the translator just repeated my Spanish, or cleaned it up if it was too vulgar. Esta verdad.

    Go figure.

    I can’t read the great works of Spanish writers. Neither, sadly, can my patients. Their Spanish is kinda uneducated, with a limited vocabulary, and no flowery adjectives. They love it when I have enough interest in them to struggle in THEIR language, rather than make them struggle in mine.

    I cracked one guy up really badly. In Spanish, the “common cold” is pretty close to “beef’n’beans.” When you tell someone not to worry, it’s beef’n’beans, they find it hilarious. S’okay.

    • Perry
      November 17, 2015 at 12:56 pm

      That’s OK. I told a guy to wash his cut with soap and ham once. Jabon, jamon, very close.

      • Perry
        November 17, 2015 at 12:57 pm

        Should be water and ham.

  2. Pat
    November 17, 2015 at 7:13 am

    1. The AAFP acts against the interests of its members – it is incomprehensible to me why anyone would still be a member.
    2. The US government is a outright enemy of small business, especially so if it is in the medical field.
    3. The “cultural proficiency” horseshit pedaled by the AAFP and ABFM is anti-western, anti-American propaganda, and is thoroughly insulting.
    4. I have no interest in being culturally proficient in providing health care tailored to foreign cultures, and refuse to do so. We have built a sufficiently large enough third world population of our own welfare class without my having to venture abroad for further enlightenment. Keep your damn reverse assimilation, I ain’t playing ball.

    • November 18, 2015 at 4:14 pm

      Of course these organizations work against their members interest, all except a few! The officers end up selling out its members and by doing so end up with a Cush job!! So I Recomend all organizations have their officers list any potential conflict of interest! I ran for and was defeat a number of years ago a board of trustees position on the Texas Medical Society. While running I was told if I did not drop out I would never be elected dog catcher there. See they had the progress of officers set up for years and I was disrupting it! Funny thing is the guy running against me was hired by BC/BS a few months later and gave up his urology practice!! Funny he never mentioned that while running and none of the other officers seemed to be concerned about his new job!!! Me, I really didn’t want to be dog catcher as to many of them!!

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