The AAFP Sends Their Lawyers After Me

Well, the American Academy of Family Physicians has finally had enough.  They are ready to fight. Who do they want to fight, you ask?  No, not Big Pharma.  No, not the insurers.  No, not big government.  The AAFP is ready to fight me for mocking them.  They spent good money on a lawyer to have me pull part of my blog down due to their logo being used. The letter they sent me is above but here are the salient points:

  • By virtue of this use, the Mark has acquired substantial goodwill and recognition.
  • We understand that the Blog Post is a parody of AAFP’s own webpage regarding its upcoming 2018 Family Physician Health and Well-Being Conference, and we recognize your right to create and display such a parody. However, the Mark itself is not being parodied, but used in its entirety. This unauthorized use dilutes AAFP’s trademark rights, infringes on AAFP’s Mark, and may create confusion and a misconception among the public that a relationship exists between AAFP and your blog (especially in view of your inclusion in the Blog Post of a weblink to AAFP’s Physician Health First initiative).

I have ten days to take that part of the image down so feel free to read that blog entry before I do.  I have used their logo before in mocking them so I am not sure what got them irked about this one.  Could it be that this parody pissed the wrong people off at the AAFP?  Could it be that they aren’t so happy being called out on their bullsh%t?  Here was my response to the lawyer:

Really?  My lawyer says otherwise but I will take the AAFP image down.  I will share your letter with the world, however, via social media.  That is if you don’t mind?  Tell whoever is afraid of me at the AAFP that I said hello.
Be Well,
Douglas Farrago MD
DPC Doc, Author, Inventor, Speaker, and overall nice guy

Hope this makes your day, everyone.  Be careful not to make fun of the wrong people or they may just take legal action against you. That is unless you are Big Pharma, an insurer or the government.

P.S. The truth is I got lazy.  I initially used their exact image from that conference but decided to be nice and make my own while putting the AAFP logo below it. Next time I will just go the extra mile and use their dedicated images to show who I am mocking.

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] 

  13 comments for “The AAFP Sends Their Lawyers After Me

  1. Mamadoc
    January 17, 2018 at 9:19 pm

    Not only are they a bunch of money grabbing fakes, the AAFP also has no sense of humor. Parody logo would be great, loved your dead tree one for SICKNA years ago (as I recall they lawyered up, too, but everybody already knew they were b&*%$rds anyway. Guess you’ve gotten their attention.

  2. Chris Dobrose
    January 16, 2018 at 3:00 pm


    The AAFP lawyers have done you a huge service by magnifying the entertainment of your parody. You see, in their letter they claim that someone might actually confuse your parody with the real AAFP conference schedule. Methinks thou didst hit too close to the mark.

  3. Frank Rubino
    January 16, 2018 at 1:30 am

    This is like the PBS FRONTLINE story on the Abacus Bank in the Chinese community of San Francisco.
    “Small enough to jail” was the title. The district attorney went after this small community bank because it was easy pickings. Citi Bank and all the other Big Bank that were “TOO BIG TO FAIL” we’re let go.
    Same is true for Dr. Doug Farrigo. “Small enough to jail”.

  4. RSW
    January 15, 2018 at 8:59 am

    I wonder what the AAFP’s legal counsel would say if they told her she would be paid for her work according to the latest P4P/value-based/client centered legal home standards?

  5. SP
    January 13, 2018 at 6:08 pm

    good for you, Doug. I found myself wondering why you don’t include the logo in your parody. Just change it a little. I magnified it and I can’t tell what it is. A modern cadeuceus? a vine choking a cone? a snake screaming out in pain? I’m sure you can change it slightly and move on. If you’re clever enough, maybe they’ll use yours and then you can send them the same letter back…

    • SP
      January 13, 2018 at 6:10 pm

      you could have the snake around a hand giving the finger…

  6. Eugene Frank
    January 13, 2018 at 12:35 pm

    The world would be a better place if all the lawyers were laid end to end.

  7. Vincent
    January 13, 2018 at 11:06 am

    Don’t forget the Golden Rule: He who has the gold, rules.

  8. Sir Lance-a-lot
    January 13, 2018 at 7:34 am

    Doug, just redraw (or get one of the usual suspects to help redraw) their logo with the worm strangling a doctor, instead of wrapping around an ice cream cone. Should take no more than an hour.

    The replace their logo with the new one wherever it appears. That way you ARE mocking the logo itself, they can say nothing about it, and your improved logo will make its way around the web (and doctors’ offices across the land – make sure you make it large and printable so it can be left on people’s desks), thus further damaging their “good will” and “reputation.”


    • Doug Farrago
      January 13, 2018 at 7:41 am

      I love it. I am not a good photoshop guy. If anyone can make that mock logo or another one of the AAFP please post here to help me.

      • Julie
        January 14, 2018 at 11:46 am

        If you are still looking for someone to help you, you should post in the PPP group. I bet there are a few physicians who could help you.

        • Doug Farrago
          January 14, 2018 at 1:05 pm

          I post there some but will some more.

    • Martha Clark
      January 13, 2018 at 11:17 am

      I’m using a glorified ‘Paint’ program, have the ice cream cone taken out, but can’t layer in a doctor being strangled by the worm! Haha!

      Hopefully someone with better software will come up with an appropriate ‘parody logo’…although the AAFP is already a parody…of itself!

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