AAFP News: AFP Edition
Policy and Health Issues in the News
Am Fam Physician. 2015 Apr 1;91(7):425.
AAFP Joins Unified Effort on Gun Violence, Free Speech Rights for Physicians
The American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP) and seven other health professional organizations have joined the American Bar Association in calling for policies to reduce firearm-related injuries and deaths and to protect physicians' free speech rights to discuss gun ownership with patients. The coalition's recommendations reflect the organizations' policies and integrate the multidisciplinary perspectives of medical, public health, and legal professionals. The recommendations were presented in an article published online February 23, 2015, in Annals of Internal Medicine. The group supports taking a public health approach to reducing firearm injuries and fatalities while ensuring respect for the Second Amendment. AAFP Executive Vice President and Chief Executive Officer Douglas Henley, MD, coauthored the article. He told AAFP News that because firearm violence is a public health issue, it needs to be addressed from a public health perspective. He added that the paper is consistent with AAFP positions on firearms and safety issues and prevention of gun violence that the AAFP Congress of Delegates approved in the past two years. For more information, go to https://www.aafp.org/news/health-of-the-public/20150223gunviolence.html.
IOM Recommends Renaming, Redefining Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
The Institute of Medicine (IOM) has proposed new diagnostic criteria for the condition commonly known as chronic fatigue syndrome, and recommends renaming the condition systemic exertion intolerance disease. According to an IOM committee, the proposed new name would show that in persons with the disease, exertion of any sort—physical, cognitive, or emotional—can adversely affect many organ systems and many aspects of their lives. The group proposed the following diagnostic criteria: (1) a substantial reduction or impairment in the ability to engage in pre-illness levels of occupational, educational, social, or personal activities that persists for more than six months and is accompanied by fatigue, which is often profound, of new or definite onset (not lifelong), not the result of ongoing excessive exertion and not substantially alleviated by rest; (2) post-exertion malaise; and (3) unrefreshing sleep. At least one of two manifestations—cognitive impairment or orthostatic intolerance—is also required. For more information, go to https://www.aafp.org/news/health-of-the-public/20150302newchronicfatigue.html.
Register Now for April 9 ICD-10 Webinar
As the October 1, 2015, deadline for implementing the International Classification of Diseases, 10th revision (ICD-10) code set for outpatient diagnostic coding draws closer, the AAFP is offering a free webinar to help family physicians prepare. “ICD-10: Think Outside the Book,” is scheduled for April 9, 2015, from 12:30 to 1:30 p.m. CDT. Registration is limited to 500 participants. The webinar aims to help all physicians and their practice managers, but especially those operating solo and small practices. For more information, go to https://www.aafp.org/news/education-professional-development/20150306icd-10webinar.html.
AAMC Predicts Significant Primary Care Physician Shortage by 2025
America could face a significant physician shortage by 2025, according to a physician workforce projection report released by the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC). The analysis estimates a primary care shortage of 12,500 to 31,100 primary care physicians and a shortfall of 28,200 to 63,700 nonprimary care physicians, most notably among surgical specialists. The AAMC called for an additional 3,000 residency slots each year for the next 10 years; the estimated cost of the additional training positions for the next decade is about $10 billion. For more information, go to https://www.aafp.org/news/practice-professional-issues/20150303aamcwkforce.html.
Primary Care, Family Medicine Shine in 2015 Osteopathic Match
Primary care scored big in the 2015 American Osteopathic Association Intern/Resident Registration Program, which matches new and recently graduated osteopathic physicians with residency programs nationwide. Of the 2,907 individuals who participated, 75% successfully matched to a program, and 54% of matches were with family medicine, internal medicine, pediatrics, or obstetrics and gynecology. Family medicine fared well in 2015; 549 applicants were matched to family medicine residency programs, a 6% increase from 2014. For more information, go to https://www.aafp.org/news/education-professional-development/20150227osteomatch.html.
— AFP and AAFP NEWS staff
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