World Family Doctor Day is May 19

Monday, May 18, 2015

Megan Moriarty
Public Relations Strategist
American Academy of Family Physicians
(800) 274-2237, Ext. 5223

Celebrate Your Family Doctor


LEAWOOD, Kan. — They deliver your children. They help you manage chronic illnesses. They coordinate care for your entire family. In the complex world of health care, you rely on your family doctor to advocate for yourself and your family. Now it’s time to say thanks, and World Family Doctor Day on May 19 is the ideal opportunity.

The World Organization of Family Doctors created World Family Doctor Day in 2010 to highlight the role and contribution of family doctors in health care systems around the world. In the United States alone, approximately one in four office visits are made to family doctors. That is 214 million office visits each year – nearly 74 million more than the next largest medical specialty.

Family medicine has long been the preferred model of care outside the United States, and is the cornerstone of an ongoing, personal patient-physician relationship. Further, health systems with a strong primary care foundation are better able to deliver on the triple aim: improved care, better health, at a lower cost.

“All over the world, family physicians are making a difference in the lives of their patients and communities. Family doctors care for patients across their entire life span, and that creates a level of trust and mutual respect that is sometimes hard to find in healthcare,” Robert Wergin, MD, president of the American Academy of Family Physicians, said.

The World Organization of Family Doctors has an impact on the world of family medicine and general practice through its World Council and its seven regional councils. In addition to its governance structure, WONCA has working groups on the classification of problems encountered in general family practice, rural practice, quality assurance, informatics, education, communications and publications, research, health behavior change, tobacco cessation, women and family medicine, mental health and respiratory diseases. Since inception many of these groups have carried out groundbreaking studies and research, and have
produced a variety of important publications.

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Founded in 1947, the AAFP represents 124,900 physicians and medical students nationwide. It is the only medical society devoted solely to primary care.

Family physicians conduct approximately one in five office visits -- that’s 192 million visits annually or 48 percent more than the next most visited medical specialty. Today, family physicians provide more care for America’s underserved and rural populations than any other medical specialty. Family medicine’s cornerstone is an ongoing, personal patient-physician relationship focused on integrated care.

To learn more about the specialty of family medicine, the AAFP's positions(5 page PDF) on issues and clinical care, and for downloadable multi-media highlighting family medicine, visit For information about health care, health conditions and wellness, please visit the AAFP’s award-winning consumer website,