The second day of Congress started with the candidates for AAFP Board of Directors giving their election speeches. Common concerns the candidates addressed included physician burn out, EMR distraction and MACRA (Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act).
The rest of the morning was an educational prolonged parliamentary process in which our own Nikki Clark, who chaired the Reference Committee on Education, represented our Utah Chapter professionally. One of the extended morning discussions was centered on the re-credentialing exam costs and process. A resolution was sent to the board requesting further evaluation and improvement be addressed.
The afternoon session started with the speeches from the candidates running for President Elect. The three candidates stressed concerns about physician burnout due to WAC (work after clinic), and reimbursement for value over volume.
It was interesting to note that 31% of medical students are signed up as members of the AAFP, however, it does not translate into actual Family Practice residencies. There was discussion among the candidates on how to encourage more students who have shown enough interest to sign up for AAFP, but later changed their minds. Common thoughts were more interesting experiences shadowing FPs who really enjoy their profession and do various procedures. Other suggestions included debt help and increased reimbursement for FPs to attract more interest.
It has been refreshing and reassuring to be with other Family Physicians dealing with concerns involving quality patient care, mounds of bureaucratic paper work, reimbursement issues all while trying to run the business of the practice. It is hard to get away to attend Academy meetings, but I am reassured and reaffirmed that there are those in our Utah Chapter and in the AAFP leadership who not only share the same concerns but offer solutions to help.
Thank you Jennifer, Maggie, Kyle, Jesse, Nikki, and the UAFP for making this a great experience. I encourage anyone, interested in improving patient care and wanting to address the problems facing us, to get involved and work with some incredible people to make things better.
Pete Sundwall Jr., MD, MS, FAAFP
UAFP Alternate Delegate