Just When I Thought I Was Out…They Pull Me Back In

Over the past few days there has been a lot of attention on me.  I am not really fazed.  It’s not like I haven’t been in trouble before.  Heck, Cigna once tried to put pressure on my hospital to get me fired. These things come and go.  What I put out there, however, is NOT for shock sake to get myself attention.  I really truly am bothered by the direction our healthcare system has taken and what the organizations that were supposed to represent us have done about it.  I think this is summarized in this really nice article written about the AAFP and me here.

I wanted to let things cool down but then I go ahead and read this article in the AAFP called Being a Family Physician Requires ‘Courageous’ Commitment.

To be honest, it’s not my fault because the title got me sucked in. Pure AAFP clickbait. Unfortunately, I read the whole thing and now I am unable to eat.  A little vomit actually came up.

Here are the highlights:

  • The author, Greg LeRoy MD, on the board of directors of the AAFP,  talks about seeing your own blind spots and having commitment (what the author calls aroha).
  • He talks about going back to your medical school application personal statement where most people wrote how they wanted to make a difference in other’s lives.
  • “Unlike any other medical specialty, the intellectual bedrock of family medicine is the concept of establishing aroha with the patient’s entire family and the population health dynamic in which they exist.”
  • “We see excitement in the eyes of our residents and students who attend the AAFP’s National Conference of Family Medicine Residents and Medical Students. Each year, attendance grows as word spreads about the wealth of career- and life-enhancing opportunities available at this event.”
  • “The excitement that once brightly shined within your spirit continues to be fueled by aroha. Do not allow it to prematurely be extinguished by the darkness of professional burnout. Instead refocus it to illuminate your own professional blind spots and to reveal grander opportunities for the future.”

And this is why I can’t stop poking fun at them.  This guy thinks we family doctors in the trenches don’t have commitment? We spent over a decade of our lives in training and gave away our youth for this profession!  That excitement he sees in medical students’ and residents’ eyes is being extinguished by a system that the AAFP supported the whole way.

Do not let it prematurely be “extinguished by the darkness of professional burnout”?  Now he is giving guilt to those docs suffering on the front lines in medicine who have to grind through AAFP supported metrics, codes, etc.  Dr. LeRoy, these docs are just trying to survive.  Your “aroha” speech is not going to save them.  Only change will.  You should have mentioned DPC because that is what you are really talking about.

Now the AAFP is all about burnout.  Hey, AAFP, you had $61 million dollars in net profit (assets) in your last reported tax statement.  How about putting on your burnout conferences for free?  Yeah, I didn’t think so. But instead you can just have your people keep following this blog and to “watch” me.  That’s right, Shawn, I saw that you signed up.  I hope you enjoy my stuff.

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