Archive for July 2011

Notice a new top tab? Connect with colleagues through Annual Session Social Media

TAFP is embarking on a new experience for the 2011 Annual Session and Scientific Assembly, July 27-31, in Dallas. We have developed the Annual Session Social Media Portal, a new blog page on TXFamilyDocs.org that presents an opportunity for all TAFP members to participate, provide input, and interact with our fully-integrated social media program during the entire gathering.

This page, http://tafp11.txfamilydocs.org/, will be your hub for a live-streamed lecture; TAFP’s social media feeds; and discussion topics before, during, and after Annual Session. We encourage all to participate, especially if you can’t physically attend Annual Session in Dallas.

On this page we’ll post the latest news, gather attendee feedback, and stream a lecture from the 2011 Annual Session, TMLT’s “Know Before You Sign! What to Look for in a Physician Employment Contract, Including Employment by Non-Profit Health Corporations” with Douglas Kennedy, J.D.

If you tweet during the conference, don’t forget to follow TAFP on Twitter and include the hashtag #TAFP in your tweets so it’s logged in our conference feed. Also make sure to check in on TAFP’s Facebook page. Post your thoughts on speakers, special events, and exhibitors. Shooting photos? Sign up through Flickr and upload them to our group, www.flickr.com/groups/txfamilydocs, so they’ll be displayed through the social media portal. Be sure to tag them to our set “TAFP Annual Session 2011.”

Not only will you be able to keep up with your colleagues in Dallas, but you’ll also be able to enrich your experience by connecting with your colleagues around the state, our top-rated speakers, vendors, and staff, and participating in discussions of your choosing— all right here through TAFP’s blog, TXFamilyDocs.org. For more information about Annual Session, go to www.tafp.org/education/programs/2011as.

Need some more convincing? Check out this great post from The National Association of County and City Health Officials on the top 10 reasons to use social media at a professional conference. The short version is that you get to connect to people you might not otherwise, extend your professional network, stay on top of meeting logistics, and provide information to those who aren’t able to attend. I found it useful to follow TAFP’s Twitter feed during AAFP’s NCSC and ALF conferences so I could get the scoop on concurrent sessions!

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Med school grads bring life to workforce

Physician workforce – particularly in family medicine and primary care – has dominated TAFP’s focus during the past six months of the 82nd Texas Legislature and special session. Workforce issues emerge in all policy areas: health and human services, education, and their respective budgets – through medical school funding, graduate medical education, the Texas Statewide Preceptorship Program, and Texas Physician Education Loan Repayment program.

On June 11th, 2011, after the regular session ended and in the middle of the special session, I was very fortunate to be in the audience at the Stanford Medical School Commencement to see my sister receive her M.D./Ph.D., and to hear one of her classmates, David Austin Craig, M.D., give a thoughtful and humorous speech reflecting on his experience in med school and looking forward to the future.

Me and my sister at her medical school graduation

Seeing the class of nearly 100 brand-new doctors “preparing to go from the frying pan of medical school to the Armageddon of residency,” as Craig said, reminded me why TAFP members spent so much time at the Capitol and in district offices meeting with legislators, testifying at hearings, developing and distributing issue briefs and policy papers, and reporting back to friends and colleagues in their communities. It’s all to support and protect the noble profession of medicine.

To each physician who participated in TAFP’s advocacy effort this year, we are grateful to you and hope you are proud of the myriad accomplishments you achieved in the midst of a tough session. We’ll need your help in the interim and the 83rd Legislature to keep the momentum going.

Until then, I invite you to read an excerpt from Dr. Craig’s speech and remember how you felt when you graduated from medical school and prepared to enter residency and beyond.

“We are headed far and wide next year, the newest foot soldiers in the war against disease that leaves not one of us on this planet untouched – a true World War in a pure and timeless sense.

“And, my classmates, though your staggering debt load may prevent you from sleeping on an actual bed, you can at least sleep soundly knowing that you have chosen to fight on the right side of this war.

“We all know that there is profit to be made quickly and in abundance by spreading fear and ignorance, in promoting poor health, in disregarding or denying the sorrow of another human being. You have instead chosen to hold a candle against these things, to enter into a profession where even your daily commute is a statement against suffering and a habitual reaffirmation that good exists.

“And, believe me, this is the only way that a 1993 rusted Geo Metro driving at 6 a.m. will ever be considered a sign of good in the world.”

“In truth, after spending the last several years with you, I can say honestly that medical school has only made you doctors in the way that a microphone makes somebody a singer. The letters “M.D.” will magnify your impact and open doors for you; will let you reach into more and darker corners of the world to spread hope and comfort there. That is true.

“However, those letters work only like a microphone, only amplifying what you put into them, and a microphone will never make you a singer just as an “M.D.” will never make you a doctor. It is now, just as it has always been: You have to bring your own voice and it is, in the end, the only thing that matters.”

See the full speech on YouTube: Stanford Medical School Commencement 2011 David Craig

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