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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE   
Monday, November 02, 2009

Statement Attributable to:
Lori Heim, MD
President
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 American Academy of Family Physicians represents 131,400 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.

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