AAFP Candidate Policy


Leadership development is a continuous and important priority for the Massachusetts Academy of Family Physicians.  Our history of courageous, innovative and determined leaders on all levels of organized medicine is worthy of preservation and continued development.  Leaders need to be identified and nurtured proactively.

MassAFP must value and articulate its role in identifying, nurturing and developing leaders for local, state and national arenas.  Incumbent in this role is the guiding and mentoring of potential leaders through this journey over the span of one’s career.  Preparing members to run for AAFP office needs to be a shared responsibility between the individual and MassAFP.  The MassAFP needs to be supportive and help individuals along the way.  It is the responsibility of current and past leaders, staff and members to nurture and support future leaders.


Leadership in the AAFP is not an entitlement but a process that must be purposeful, nurtured and developed in the best interest of Family Medicine overall.  Leadership development involves costs that will be shared by the MassAFP (e.g., travel costs to attend AAFP meetings) and by the candidate (e.g., uncompensated time spent in leadership development).

In light of this charge and the desire to have MassAFP ready for leadership on all levels, the MassAFP will:

Identify potential leaders on an ongoing basis, maintain a list of such leaders and purposefully engage them in opportunities to grow and develop their leadership skills.  Past and present AAFP leaders, delegates and alternates from MassAFP need to be engaged in leadership development.
Encourage potential leaders to create and maintain a portfolio of leadership experiences and skills throughout their career.  This should include a report card on participation – examples to include are:

  • MassAFP FamMed PAC participation
  • AAFP FAMMED PAC participation
  • Contribution to MASSAFP-Foundation
  • MASSAFP committee & task force participation
  • AAFP Commission and workgroup participation
  • AAFP volunteer activities
  • Other volunteer activities

Develop and maintain a 3-5 year leadership succession plan for committee members, chairs, MassAFP board members, MassAFP officers, AAFP Commission members, AAFP board and officers, and other organized medicine or governmental appointments.  MassAFP will promote a recommended leadership track.

Create and maintain a process for providing feedback and an evaluation for committee chairs, board members and officers that can be used to help evaluate potential and qualifications for national positions.  The MassAFP will maintain a culture of ongoing, informal mentoring and encouragement of interest in leadership.

Create a calendar for candidates interested in running for national office that clearly states deadlines and requirements.

Create and maintain a process for candidates to seek chapter support and nomination when desiring to run for national office.  This will include an evaluated interview with the full board of directors before deciding to nominate someone for national office.  An assessment of the candidate’s viability by an internal Campaign Committee, appointed by the Executive Committee, will precede this interview. 

Create and maintain a list of mentors for prospective and current leaders.

Maintain quantifiable characteristics and skills for candidates for national office that will include, but will not be limited to, the following:

  • MassAFP Past President
  • MassAFP CoD Delegate
  • Participation with AAFP Regional/National meetings (ACLF, 10-State, Legislative, etc...)
  • Participation with AAFP Committee/Commission/Caucus
  • Chair of AAFP Committee/Commission
  • Participation with AAFP Reference Committee
  • Chair of AAFP Reference Committee
  • Degree of Fellow with AAFP

Create shared responsibility around the economics of running for AAFP office between the candidate and the MassAFP.  Economic planning and budgeting should take place a minimum of three years prior to running for an AAFP office.  Generally candidates for national office will be expected to contribute a minimum of 20% of the total costs.  The cost for attending state and regional meetings is the responsibility of the candidate.

Routinely identify and promote entry-level national opportunities and develop a process for identifying and developing delegates, alternates and commission members.

In light of the above, and the desire to have the best chance possible for effective leadership on all levels, the interested candidate will:

  • Partner with the MassAFP leadership in the areas defined above.
  • Work with and engage leadership in preparing for national office.
  • Provide notice to the MassAFP of interest in running for AAFP office at least 4 years before running.
  • Be receptive to and follow through on recommendations and suggestions for improving leadership skills.

Recommended Timeline:

Four Years Prior to Election:

Work with mentors and MassAFP leaders to develop skills
Develop an in-state network and out-of-state network

One Year Prior to Election:

December to February:

  • Develop portfolio, platform and general campaign strategy in discussion with Executive Committee and staff
  • Obtain consensus endorsement from all MassAFP CoD Delegates and Alternates
  • Submit request to Executive Committee for Candidate Presentation to the MassAFP BoD
  • MASSAFP Finance Committee prepares a financial plan for running a candidate for consideration by the MASSAFP BoD

Spring BoD Meeting (currently March):

  • Candidate presentation and rating
  • Feedback provided following the presentation
  • Executive Committee Meeting following Spring BoD Meeting:
    • Ratings and comments reviewed
    • Candidate endorsement determined
    • If endorsement is approved:


  • MassAFP Election Support Committee identified
  • Specific campaign strategy discussed
  • Potential External Campaign Committee members identified
  • September/October Congress of Delegates: 
  • Announce election
  • Recruit non-MassAFP CoD Delegates
  • Announce Campaign Committee

Year of Election:

Attend at least 3 other state meetings (cost is the responsibility of the candidate)
Attend ACLF and 10-State (cost is the responsibility of the candidate)
All MassAFP BoD Meetings prior to CoD:
Present election speech and field questions from members in preparation for race

September/October Congress of Delegates:

  • Election to office! (Hopefully)

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