Primary Care shouldn’t be sustainable, it should be FANTASTIC. My time at the AAFP Assembly 2014

I love my specialty (family medicine). So much that I took the time to learn about its history and write a series of blog posts about it.

I also love great leadership, which is why it was great to participate in my specialty society’s (American Academy of Family Physicians @AAFP) hosting of Jack Cochran, MD (@JackHCochran). The quote in the title of this post comes from him, and he’s a plastic surgeon. What’s not to love?

I didn’t get to experience everything at this year’s AAFP Assembly (@AAFPAssembly). Actually, I didn’t get to experience very much because of things like our hosting of the Washington, DC Health Care Sustainability Pledge (see: Photo Friday: Sustainable Washington, DC USA | Ted Eytan, MD ). However I did experience the essence of family medicine, which I continue to identify with. And really, that’s the life of a family physician – we are generalists dedicated to the health of the individual, family, community, and society. We go where we’re needed 🙂 .

Speaking of being needed, I learned, as Jack was connecting people with his book The Doctor Crisis (my review coming soon), that there isn’t yet a critical mass of family medicine leaders with the understanding and capabilities that physicians must and can lead, not for themselves, for the people they serve. Take a look, see what you think, it’s worth a read.

Following the time at the Assembly, we invited Permanente physicians who were in Washington, DC to the Center for Total Health (@KPTotalHealth) of course, to connect with each other and with our purpose of Total Health. We were joined by AAFP Board Member Jack Chou, MD, FAAFP (@JackChouMD), Tim Munzing, MD (@DrMunzing) and others who are talented family medicine specialists and leading the way in creating the next generation of “us.”.

So nice to see that our medical specialty has a home, and allies who support us in doing what we do. By the way, when I say that, it is not meant “to the exclusion of” any specialty – our home as family medicine specialists is within a multi-specialty group, whose talents we share and leverage for the benefit of our members. It’s what we were born to do:

he will be a specialist by inclusion – in contrast to the classical clinical specialist who specializes by excluding. His aim is to broaden his concern, to widen his skill; he seeks to accept responsibility; not merely to pass it along. He utilizes specialists, rather than surrendering to them. (Wilson, 1969)

Photos below, enjoy.


Ted Eytan, MD