Some of you may not be aware that you have been named AAFP Family Physician of the Year!
On October 16, at the AAFP Family Medicine Experience (FMX) virtual meeting, our academy EVP and CEO Shawn Martin honored all family physicians, stating “Our 2020 Family Physician of the Year is—you, the nation’s 135,000 family physicians, in recognition of your selfless service to patients and communities each day. We are proud of you, applaud you, and today we celebrate you.” https://www.aafp.org/news/2020-congress-fmx/20201019fpoy.html
This tribute is especially meaningful as we continue the exhausting marathon battle against SARS-CoV-2 in multiple capacities in our daily work. It is also important to revere and acknowledge those colleagues we have lost on the frontlines of medicine, as family medicine has lost more physicians to COVID-19 than any other specialty. Some were physicians in the emergency department or intensive care setting, although most were outpatient family docs in the line of duty, who may have been more likely to see early-stage, mild or asymptomatic patients without adequate PPE (personal protective equipment) early in the pandemic. Now as we brace for another surge of coronavirus, please be careful in whatever setting you practice, and take all precautions. The Mass Medical Society is partnering with the Mass Hospital Association to bring PPE to its members through an online exchange called PPE.Exchange. http://www.massmed.org/Patient-Care/COVID-19/PPE-purchasing-opportunity/#.X5eMWIhKjD4
School reopening continues to challenge educators and the family physicians offering health guidance to students, their families, school nurses and teachers. The MassAFP website’s COVID-19 resource page includes links to the Mass Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics’ interactive decision-making tool for covid testing and FAQs for parents including mask use. It is imperative that we all echo a consistent message for appropriate testing and quarantine advice. https://www.massafp.org/latest-news/mcaap-school-reopening-information
Our chapter has finalized our Position Statement on the Impact of Racism on Public Health. This is our springboard to ongoing education, discussion, and action against racism in all aspects of family medicine. Let me know if you have an interest in participating as we form our Advisory Board. Be sure to join in for a virtual interactive forum presented by the Mass Behavioral Health Partnership on The Impact of Race and Racism on Health: A Call to Action on Weds. Nov 18 from 9 am to 12:30 pm, with keynote speaker Camara P. Jones, MD, MPH, PhD.
In other hot topics, the AAFP Congress of Delegates, held virtually on October 12-22, passed resolutions on issues of health coverage, healthcare equity, and a wide range of other public health concerns. Check out our stance and our roadmap for future advocacy efforts here: https://www.aafp.org/news/2020-congress-fmx.html
This November I am thankful for all of you, and all you do. Stay safe and be in touch.
Michele C Parker, MD FAAFP