The AAFP has taken the plunge into the social media waters with the launch of AAFP Connection, a free, members-only social networking site where Academy members can connect with one another and share information via discussion forums, a file-sharing feature, Wikis and more.
"AAFP Connection will enhance the value of membership in the Academy by providing a platform within our members' professional home where they can share information and learn while engaging with their colleagues and providing feedback to the AAFP," said AAFP Director of Marketing Karen Mathes. The site enhances the Academy's current social media efforts, and "by participating in the communities, members can connect with peers who share common interests through discussion forums, read and contribute to relevant topic-specific blogs, share files, and create Wikis."
The site is launching with two specialized communities already in place. The rural medicine community allows AAFP members who practice in a rural environment to reach out to other members in rural practice to share resources and success stories, ask questions, solicit input, and discuss the unique challenges of practicing family medicine in a rural environment.
The clinical community provides a forum for members to discuss clinical problems and procedures. Members of this community can find advice and treatment options on a number of procedures, as well as CME courses based on their interests.
Members signing in to AAFP Connection for the first time will be asked to agree to a Terms of Service agreement. They then will be able to set up individual profiles, which will be available only to other AAFP members and AAFP staff. Members can include information such as their employer, their practice description and their medical school and residency programs in their profile.
After setting up a profile, members are invited to join either or both of the currently available communities by selecting a community from the drop-down list and clicking on "join community." Future communities on AAFP Connection will be defined by member interest, but communities already under development include emergency and urgent care, the patient-centered medical home, and research.
For more information about AAFP Connection, contact the AAFP Member Resource Center by e-mail or by calling (800) 274-2237.