Practice Information (WHO) Report

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Craig Doane, Vice President for Journal Media and Strategic Partnerships

Thirty-four years ago, the American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP) made a commitment to providing market research on its members that would assist healthcare marketers in targeting family physicians. Over the years, the type of data presented has slightly changed, but one thing remains constant — the desire to provide insight into the behavior of family physicians.

This research represents the 34th consecutive survey conducted by the AAFP on journal reading habits and member practice patterns. As one of the largest medical specialty organizations (more than 115,900 members), the AAFP is recognized as the nation’s top advocate for family medicine.

Family physicians treat the whole person within the context of family and community:

  • regardless of age, sex or disease entity,
  • in outpatient and hospital settings,
  • with a wide range of surgical and diagnostic procedures,
  • referring fewer patients than any other specialty.

Office visits to family physicians (FPs) represent about 23% of all patient visits,1 although FPs represent only 12% of all physicians.2

FPs write 26% of all prescriptions issued during office visits, more than any other single specialty.1

Family medicine is recognized as a specialty that is essential to managed care. The broad scope of family medicine helps reduce excessive costs and increases access to health care. Family physicians are the most frequently designated primary care providers, or “coordinators of care,” for managed care organizations.

With the importance of family physicians in the marketplace, savvy health care marketers target this key specialty. Accordingly, the AAFP has undertaken to provide critical information on its physician members to assist in reaching family physicians.

  1. Facts About Family Medicine, American Academy of Family Physicians, Leawood, KS, 2011.
  2. Data on file with Medical Marketing Services, Inc.