After attending the American Academy of Family Physicians’ Annual Leadership Forum and National Conference of Special Constituencies this past week, I am optimistic about the future of our specialty.
While health care costs are rising and we have still not found a way to care for the millions of uninsured in the United States, the energy and passion of the hundreds of family doctors who gathered in Kansas City fills me with hope and enthusiasm.
I renewed old acquaintances, made new friends, and put faces to Twitter handles. Millenials, Generation Yers, Gen Xers, and Boomers shared their commitment to their patients and to solving the problems we faces.
We discussed the many challenges facing our country’s healthcare system, our patients, and our specialty: ever increasing healthcare costs, lack of access to primacy care doctors, and inadequate supply of primary care physicians. We talked about Accountable Care Organizations and Patient Centered Medical Homes.
For years, friends and colleagues have urged me to attend this meeting. For years, I said I was too busy taking care of my patients. Now I am glad I made the time to go. Spending four days with current and future leaders of our specialty has recharged me for the challenges ahead.