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    Newsletter Summer 2015

    Thursday, July 02, 2015  A Message from the President

    I write this message shortly after we have released the results of the April examination. While pass rates for certifying and maintenance of certification candidates are slightly different, overall, about 9 out of 10 first-time takers (those not retaking the examination as a result of having previously been unsuccessful) passed the examination, as you will learn from the story discussing the results in greater detail inside this issue. Nevertheless, we receive calls from those that were unsuccessful on the examination, and one of the most frequent complaints that we hear from those that failed is that "the examination in no way reflected what I do in practice." More...

    The Summer 2015 edition of The Phoenix is now available.


    ABFM Creates Resources and Tools for Communicating the Importance of a Board-Certified Family Doctor to Patients

    Thursday, June 25, 2015  One goal of the ABFM is to provide Diplomates with more resources and communications tools that can help Family Physicians convey the significance and benefits of choosing a board-certified family doctor. With this message in mind, the ABFM has created materials geared toward reaching the patient, as well as providing you with additional means of communicating to your own patients the value of your board certification.

    The ABFM has created two short, friendly videos designed for the general public. The first video stresses the importance of choosing a Family Physician for your primary health care: youtube.com/watch?v=TyR-C5hnJUA  

    The second video explains the importance of choosing a family physician who is board-certified: youtube.com/watch?v=tKnNmUkNARA

    The videos were produced by the same creative team that is promoting the Health is Primary campaign healthisprimary.org. These videos are also available on YouTube at the ABFM's channel for you to use as best suits you or your own promotional purposes.

    An office table card has also been created and is available for download at theabfm.org/about/abfmbrochure.aspx. The file for this 2-sided card can be sent to a local printer, and then set up in the office waiting room as a takeaway or mailed individually to patients. Again, the brief but well-defined message to your patients is your inherent value as a board-certified physician.

    The ABFM hopes these new resources will help family physicians communicate to patients that board-certified family doctors are committed to providing the high-quality care that every patient deserves.


    G. Gayle Stephens Keystone Conference Series

    Wednesday, May 27, 2015  The American Board of Family Medicine Foundation will host the fourth G. Gayle Stephens Keystone Conference Series June 5-7, 2015 at the Keystone Resort in Colorado.

    The 2015 conference will follow the basic purpose and strategies of the first three Keystone Conferences and will focus on the question, "What promises will a personal physician make to her/his patients going forward in the evolving health care system of the United States, particularly in terms of when and where they will be there for their patients?"

    This conference will feature conversations stimulated by four plenary speakers: Dr. Rosemary Stevens, Dr. Will Miller, Dr. Kim Griswold, and Dr. David Loxterkamp. Most of the conference will be streamed live at www.gaylestephensconference.com where it can be viewed by those interested. In addition, to participate from offsite, the conference will be available on Twitter using the hashtag, #keystoneIV.

    Dr. Gayle Stephens (August 6, 1928-February 20, 2014), one of the founders of family medicine in the United States, provided consistent intellectual leadership that profoundly impacted the specialty. He connected history, philosophy, religion, psychiatry, the family, the community, and the sciences to the practice of medicine, and he explained how family medicine was a "counter-culture" within medicine, manifested in personal relationships and rooted in social change. He particularly advanced the importance of relationships in clinical practice and the role of the personal physician as a trusted and trustworthy agent for patients.

    In addition to his institutional leadership, textbooks, scientific articles, essays, visiting professorships, and invited lectures, Gayle initiated an unusual invitational conference, known as "The Keystone Conference," where a relatively small group of colleagues could discuss ideas and discern important challenges and opportunities meriting the attention of family physicians and medicine as a profession. The third Keystone Conference inspired the Future of Family Medicine project that guided family medicine through the first years of the 21st century. In an effort to support the continuation of Dr. Stephen's life-long work and service, the American Board of Family Medicine Foundation established "The G. Gayle Stephens Keystone Conference Series" in 2014. The aim of this series is to continue his legacy of occasional, carefully constructed, invitational conferences focusing on relevant, challenging, perhaps neglected topics worthy of substantial consideration by family physicians, other health care professionals, and the public.

    The American Board of Family Medicine is honored to carry on the tradition of the Keystone Conferences and deeply grateful to the Stephens family for their permission to use their name to assure such reflective efforts continue in perpetuity.


    More Comprehensive Care Among Family Physicians is Associated with Lower Costs and Fewer Hospitalizations

    Tuesday, May 12, 2015  A study published in the May/June 2015 Annals of Family Medicine suggests that patients whose family physicians provided a wider range of services experienced fewer hospitalizations and incurred lower health care costs. "Patients were 35 percent less likely to end up in a hospital if their family doctor was very comprehensive, compared with a doctor who was minimally comprehensive," says Dr. Robert Phillips, of the American Board of Family Medicine and one of the authors of the study. The researchers also found that doctors who performed a wider range of services reduced overall patient costs by between 10 and 15 percent.

    The full article is available here: http://annfammed.org/content/13/3/206.full


    National Study by the ABFM and AHRQ to Improve Maintenance of Certification

    Friday, February 06, 2015  The Agency for Healthcare Quality and Research (AHRQ) and the American Board of Family Medicine (ABFM) are funding and collaborating on TRADEMaRQ, a national study to make MOC activities more efficient and more closely tied to clinical quality.

    Read the article on this effort by Group Health Research here.