Local Diplomate Reception: Now a Regular Practice for Learning and Sharing
|ᐊ March 2021 Issue||Download March 2021 [PDF 960KB]|
Written by Andrea Anderson, MD
Andrea Anderson, MD
ABFM Board Member
Amid our current health care environment, the American Board of Family Medicine (ABFM) is working to ensure that certification remains just as valuable today as it was 50 years ago when ABFM was founded. In 2019, the ABFM Board of Directors adopted a strategic plan which included a goal to support diplomates and their practices across their career. The board members have been actively engaged in suggesting and developing ideas to achieve the tenets of the strategic plan. Towards this end, I proposed that the board adopt a new practice of hosting a reception to visit with Diplomates in the various locations where Board meetings occur twice a year. The idea was welcomed by the Board leadership and first piloted in October 2020.
The idea was originally conceived as a reception for local Diplomates, possibly accompanied by a visit to a local health care facility or office. The COVID-19 pandemic posed challenges to this plan, but we were able to transition to a virtual format for the October and February meetings which were scheduled to occur in Washington, DC and Tucson, AZ. The invited Diplomates were recruited via contacts with local family physicians and state chapters, and represented a diverse tapestry of practice types and locations from rural to urban, academia to Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHC), and public health to the Department of Corrections. The meetings reinforced what many know to be true – you are among the most resilient, adaptive, and caring physicians this country knows, and you have consistently been at the forefront of fighting the pandemic and elevating the local and national dialogue on primary care.
As a board member, I was personally impressed by the range of impacts you had made over the past year and your steadfast commitment to Family Medicine, patients, and communities despite the added challenges posed by the pandemic. From where I sit, meeting with ABFM Diplomates really helps to open a lens on the range of challenges and triumphs they faced. It helps us to know how to make certification more personal, relevant, and effective for you. The feedback from these meetings has helped to inform ABFM initiatives such as how to conceive of the future of Family Medicine Residency Training, how to attract more students to Family Medicine, and how to make the certification process less burdensome and more agile for your practices. In a word, these conversations are invaluable to our Board of Directors!
As a board, we are excited to continue this practice as one of the means of continuing to listen to the needs of our colleagues and incorporate those ideas in our board discussions. Hopefully, we soon will return to in-person meetings and local receptions, in compliance with local public health guidance. Look for us coming to a city or state near you. In the meanwhile, please sign up to provide year-round feedback to ABFM through the Engagement Network.