President's Message

September, 2019

Jennifer Sparks, MD – MASSFP President

Jennifer Sparks, MD

Back to school time is a such an exciting time for so many youth and families. Much like the Gomer Blog meme above, when do you take pause to identify you have also turned over a new year? Some physicians start their practices straight out of residency while others take three months off as a break before their transition into practice. What year in practice are you? Are you early, mid or later career? Are there certain back-to-work rituals you take on prior to your “new year”?

Back to work supply list

  • Pens/sharpies
  • Backpack/Briefcase
  • Tissues/wet wipes/hand sanitizer
  • Stethoscope
  • App updates
  • New planner/Agenda
  • Travel coffee mug and/or Reusable water bottle

Requirements for all in Massachusetts (top 4 items from BORIM)

  1. Regulations for informed consent to be obtained by Attending physician
  2. Prohibition of delegation of services to non-licensed persons
  3. Full report of medical malpractice and criminal background checks for licensing without consideration if dismissed, deemed not liable or not guilty
  4. Mandatory reporting of Substance Used Disorder: 2 added provisions, no exemptions if violations of status and may not be impaired at workplace or on call

I recently met with the Interspecialty Committee of the Massachusetts Medical Society working on an action plan as the 4 items span all specialties. The MMS has opposed many of the new regulations and has testified in person and by phone regarding the aforementioned and there was a pause from 2017 until now. Some requested revisions were accepted though others were not. There is currently 30 days until it is pushed forward to the Secretary of State. You can click here for an official Board summary of the regulations, and click here for a full version of the new regulations at 243 CMR 2.00.

Is it the freshness of new items/new year that could help us set our new intention for the year? Admittedly, we all have the standardized requirements to learn about, but what about the electives learning opportunities? Do you plan out your learning opportunities and electives throughout the year or decide as you go along?

Elective Opportunities through the AAFP

  1. Membership participation on Commissions
    1. Commission on Continuing Professional Development
    2. Commission on Education
    3. Commission on Finance and Insurance
    4. Commission on Governmental Advocacy
    5. Commission on Health of the Public and Science
    6. Commission on Membership and Member Services
    7. Commission on Quality and Practice

  2.  Participation as representative to the ABFM
    1. If you're interested in being a director of the ABFM, please download and read the procedures for nomination. Then, once you have read the procedures, complete the online form for nomination.

  3. AAFP Delegate to the AMA
    1. If you're interested in becoming a delegate to the AMA, please read the position description for delegates. Then, complete the online form to submit your application for consideration.

Standardized learning opportunities through AAFP:

  1. FMX – September 24-28, Philadelphia, PA
  2. Emergency and Urgent Care October 9-12, San Antonio, TX
  3. Neurology and Behavioral Health October 16-19, San Diego, CA
  4. Adult Medicine November 6-9, Las Vegas, NV
  5. Skin Conditions and Disease November 6-9, Las Vegas, NV
  6. Care of Chronic Conditions November 13-16, La Jolla, CA
  7. Geriatric Medicine December 4-7, Ft. Meyers, FL

Any good return to school program starts off with a celebration, no? The MassAFP is looking to create more wellness/restorative networking opportunities as part of our emphasis on the promotion of resiliency in the family medicine workforce. We are looking to have our first informal networking event over Dim Sum from 11am to 1pm,  October 27th in downtown Boston Chinatown area for those that would like to participate. Come on out! Meet your colleagues, enjoy the fellowship of medicine, identify what wellness means to you and everyday activities which may help.  Or just sit, relax, and eat. Please stay tuned!  

This will be our first " Family Docs Together" event, hosted by Jennifer Sparks and Cheng-Chieh Chuang, both fellow FPs.  If you would like to volunteer hosting similar events near where you are at your favorite "nourishing spots" for informal weekend lunch/brunch/meal, please contact Jen Sparks, and MassAFP will help you organize the event.  We expect the attendees to pay for their own at the venue so the only things a volunteer needs are enthusiasm and time availability for the event.  


Jennifer Sparks, MD
MassAFP President

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