AAFP Statement: American Academy of Family Physicians Responds to President Obama’s Speech to the American Medical Association

Monday, June 15, 2009

Statement attributable to:
Ted Epperly, M.D.
American Academy of Family Physicians

“The American Academy of Family Physicians commends President Obama for calling out the importance of primary care in his speech to the AMA today as the cornerstone for establishing a high-quality, affordable and efficient health care system that ensures health care for all and the quality of care that all Americans deserve.

“In his speech, the president referenced the key tenets of the Patient-Centered Medical Home, including the need for electronic health records, preventive care, team based care and incentives for doctors to spend more time with their patients. The AAFP believes the Patient-Centered Medical Home will help build a health care system that, as President Obama said, will "give Americans the best care at the lowest costs.'

“The AAFP also thanks President Obama for recognizing the value of primary care physicians by saying, "we need to rethink the cost of a medical education, and do more to reward medical students who choose a career as a primary care physicians and who choose to work in underserved areas instead of a more lucrative path.'

“As Congress and President Obama work on comprehensive health reform, we urge them to increase funding for graduate medical education for family medicine and other primary care residency programs. This will encourage more medical students to pursue a career in family medicine, especially in rural areas of the country where we are facing a severe primary care shortage.”

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Founded in 1947, the American Academy of Family Physicians represents 134,600 physicians and medical students nationwide, and it is the only medical society devoted solely to primary care.

Family physicians conduct approximately one in five of the total medical office visits in the United States per year – more than any other specialty. Family physicians provide comprehensive, evidence-based, and cost-effective care dedicated to improving the health of patients, families and communities. Family medicine’s cornerstone is an ongoing and personal patient-physician relationship where the family physician serves as the hub of each patient’s integrated care team. More Americans depend on family physicians than on any other medical specialty.

To learn more about the AAFP and family medicine, visit www.aafp.org/media. Follow us on Twitter,(twitter.com) and like us on Facebook. For information about health care, health conditions and wellness, visit the AAFP’s award-winning consumer website, www.familydoctor.org(familydoctor.org).