AAFP Statement: Family Physicians Applaud Confirmation of Regina Benjamin as U.S. Surgeon General

Monday, November 02, 2009

Statement Attributable to:
Lori Heim, MD
American Academy of Family Physicians

“Family physicians applaud the Senate’s confirmation of Regina Benjamin, MD., as U.S. surgeon general.

“All Americans will benefit from Dr. Benjamin’s medical expertise, clinical experience and advocacy for all patients. She is committed to ensuring that everyone has access to health care, regardless of economic status, despite systemic challenges that prevent patients from getting needed care, and even in the face of devastating natural disaster such as hurricanes George and Katrina.

“A Fellow of the American Academy of Family Physicians, Dr. Benjamin is a relentless advocate for preventive care and health care coverage for all. As a practicing physician, she understands the need to build a health care system on primary medical care. As associate dean for rural health at the University of South Alabama College of Medicine, she has worked to alleviate the nation’s shortage of family physicians.

“As a practicing family physician, as an advocate for patients, as an individual who has faced down crises and overcome disasters, Dr. Benjamin has demonstrated the expertise, commitment and leadership America needs in a surgeon general. We are fortunate to have such an outstanding physician to serve as America’s doctor.”

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Founded in 1947, the AAFP represents 136,700 physicians and medical students nationwide. It is the largest 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 on issues and clinical care, and for downloadable multi-media highlighting family medicine, visit www.aafp.org/media. For information about health care, health conditions and wellness, please visit the AAFP’s award-winning consumer website, www.familydoctor.org(familydoctor.org).