Blog post by Jay W. Lee, MD, MPH, FAAFP
As the public health emergency ends and family medicine begins to escape the gravitational pull of the pandemic, one thing is certain: family physicians deserve each other and family physicians deserve to be together. That’s right, after years of upregulating epinephrine due to the ongoing trauma and moral injury from bending the COVID-19 curve, we are ready to hit the dopamine button again.
Historically, spring has been family medicine meeting season. Many of us have been like dormant flower bulbs awaiting the sun and the warmth; we are ready to bloom. The California Academy of Family Physicians (CAFP) held our All-Member Advocacy Meeting (AMAM) in Sacramento late in March. Other state chapters are holding their equivalent governance meetings, many for the first time since the start of the pandemic. The Society of Teachers of Family Medicine (STFM) held its annual meeting in late April/early May. And the American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP) just hosted its annual leadership conference which includes 3 conferences in one: Annual Clinical Leadership Forum (ACLF), National Conference of Constituency Leaders (NCCL), and State Legislative Conference (SLC).
As helpful as technology has been over the course of the pandemic, virtual platforms are not a sufficient substitute for in-person meetings. The interstitial spaces between meeting sessions provide an essential substrate for building relationships that enrich our careers and our personal lives. Furthermore, building these relationships strengthens the specialty of family medicine. Not only do we support our practice of clinical medicine via continuing medical education and exchange of ideas but we also “physicianeer” ideas for unbreaking the system to better serve our patients, improve the health of the population, and allow us to become the physicians we wrote about in our personal statements.
Now is the time for us to agitate the necessary escape velocity towards a post-pandemic world. The public health emergency has shown us has shown just how broken our healthcare system is and just how vital family medicine is to heal the brokenness. We cannot fail; we must seize the day. Let’s rise up, Family Medicine. Let’s occupy the ground. Let’s build the future together. Let us heal the brokenness.
How? By flexing our connectedness. We have the power; let’s amplify our voices. I plan to get out to as many meetings as my schedule will allow so we can do this important work together. What do you plan to do?
Reach out directly to Dr. Lee by email or on social media at @familydocwonk.