It's time once again to celebrate National Primary Care Week, observed this year from Oct. 3-7. The theme for 2016 is "Improving Access and Quality for All."
This annual event -- held in the fall on medical school campuses across the country -- gives family physicians and their primary care colleagues, physicians-in-training, and students across the health care spectrum an opportunity to extol the virtues of primary care.
It's also the perfect occasion to educate consumers from coast to coast about the indispensable role primary care plays in the U.S. health care system.
The American Medical Student Association (AMSA)(www.amsa.org) serves as the official sponsor of National Primary Care Week, and the AAFP is pleased to spread the word about activities through its family medicine interest group (FMIG) network and via online resources.
And the AAFP has once again helped provide programming to make the week memorable and informative.
Here's a sampling of offerings that are featured this year.
- Marie-Elizabeth Ramas, M.D., of Hollis, N.H., a former AAFP Board member, will host the kick-off event as part of an AMSA-hosted webinar series(www.amsa.org). Ramas serves as keynote speaker in a webinar titled Advocating for Maternal and Child Health in Primary Care. The event, shown live on Oct. 3 at 6 p.m. EDT, will be archived for later viewing. Readers are encouraged to register(goo.gl) for one or all of the webinars on tap for the week.
- AAFP Board Chair Wanda Filer, M.D., M.B.A., of York, Pa., discusses domestic violence as the featured speaker in an AMSA podcast(www.amsa.org). Filer's episode, available on Oct. 3, is part of the "AMSA ad lib" podcast series that is available on the AMSA website or via iTunes(itunes.com).
- Fourth-year medical student Kelsey Murray, of Columbus, Ohio, the AAFP's FMIG network national coordinator, hosted an episode of the Family Medicine on Air: FMIG Leader Series of Google Hangouts created especially for National Primary Care Week. Murray interviewed AMSA President Kelly Thibert, D.O., M.P.H., and Diana Huang, AMSA's vice president for program development. The episode is available on YouTube(www.youtube.com) and the AAFP's website.
- AAFP Past President Glen Stream, M.D., of La Quinta, Calif., who serves as the board chair of Family Medicine for America's Health(fmahealth.org), discusses in episode six of Family Medicine on Air the need for change in the U.S. health care system and the crucial role primary care plays in making that change happen.
The AAFP encourages family physicians to spread the message about primary care all year long by accessing resources available through the Health is Primary(www.healthisprimary.org) campaign.
Health is Primary, launched in conjunction with Family Medicine for America's Health in 2014, is a communications campaign designed to promote the value of family medicine, demonstrate the benefits of primary care and encourage patients in the United States to get involved in their health care system.