Commish, Commish, Commissioner? Why YOU Should Join an AAFP Commission

By Sarah Woolsey, MD, MPH, FAAFP

Leaders wanted! AAFP is looking for members that have something to say and want to influence the Academy in important ways. Yes, Utah family doctors – I think you might just be perfect. I am wrapping up my final year on the AAFP Commission on Quality and Practice and noticed that applications are open for all the new Commission positions. AAFP will benefit from your voices and leadership. Step up and apply! If you don’t apply, we cannot call you “The Commish”.

What is a Commission? The AAFP brings together a variety of members like you to advise them as they apply and operationalize the decisions that are made at the Congress of Delegates. Commissions tackle numerous topic areas from Federal and State Policy to Finance and Insurance and Membership and Member Services. These member-populated Commissions keep policies fresh and relevant. Staff and AAFP Board members seek input from you on AAFP innovations and possible organizational directions. My Commission has been Quality and Practice. We tackle telehealth, payment reform, quality initiatives, and payer topics.

The official descriptions of the different Commissions are online here.

What do you do? Stints are for two years, and you meet formally twice a year with (at the most) monthly requests for feedback on policy or documents, and the occasional ad hoc meeting.

Why should you join? Utah family physicians are smart, good docs. They are creative and they deliver some of the highest quality care in the nation. The AAFP benefits from our fresh energy and ideas. I believe we are better when we shape our national organizations intentionally.

What is in it for you? Learning more about the national organization and influencing its direction, meeting awesome peers from across the country, and bringing ideas back to your practice or us here at UAFP. Some fun conversations and a little travel. There are virtual meetings and some travel to Kansas City, MO. You will increase your capacity in sharing ideas and participating in formal organizational meetings. I feel like the training has benefitted me as a leader. Reach out if you want to know more or have questions (

How does it work to apply? Contact UAFP and let them know you are interested. The Chapter is required to write a letter of support. The application and nomination cycle begins July 15, 2022.