World Family Doctor Day is May 19, 2011

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Janelle Davis
Public Relations Strategist
American Academy of Family Physicians
(800) 274-2237 Ext. 6253

LEAWOOD, Kan. — The World Organization of Family Doctors (Wonca*) celebrates World Family Doctor Day around the globe on May 18. Long the preferred model of care outside the United States, family medicine is the cornerstone of an ongoing, personal patient-physician relationship focused on integrated care. The American Academy of Family Physicians is a longstanding member of Wonca.

Wonca has an impact on the world of family medicine/general practice through its World Council and its seven Regional Councils. In addition to its governance structure, Wonca has working groups on the classification of problems encountered in general family medicine, rural practice, quality assurance, informatics, education, communications and publications, research, health behavior change, tobacco cessation, women and family medicine, mental health, and respiratory diseases. Over the years, these groups have carried out groundbreaking studies and research, and have produced a variety of important publications.

Multinational employers and insurance companies are realizing more and more the importance of family physicians and their focus on a long-term patient-physician relationship, preventive care, chronic disease management and care coordination across sub-specialties.

In fact, the Patient Centered Primary Care Collaborative was created in the United States in late 2006 by several large national employers, including IBM, to join forces with primary care physician groups and other large employers in order to (1) facilitate improvements in patient-physician relations and (2) create a more effective and efficient model of health care delivery. The AAFP is a founding member of the PCPCC.

The AAFP and other medical and business groups champion the concept of the patient-centered medical home, which describes a style of care that integrates patients as active participants in their own health and well-being. Patients are cared for by a physician who leads the medical team that coordinates all aspects of preventive, acute and chronic needs of patients using the best available evidence and appropriate technology. The concept of the PCMH grew out of a large-scale research study done by the AAFP in 2002 that showed the public wanted more continuous and comprehensive care in the context of their community.

Family physicians are the foundation of high-quality, low cost health care systems throughout the world. Numerous research studies have reported that communities with a high family-physician-to-population ratio have better health outcomes and lower health care costs. Family physicians provide their patients with a relationship that offers comfort, convenience, and preventive and primary health care that results in optimal health throughout the lifespan.

The 100,300 AAFP members join with the120 Wonca member organizations in 99 countries to celebrate World Family Doctor Day.

About the American Academy of Family Physicians
Founded in 1947, the AAFP represents 115,900 physicians and medical students nationwide. It is the only medical society devoted solely to primary care.

Approximately one in four of all office visits are made to family physicians. That is 214 million office visits each year — nearly 74 million more than the next largest 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 For information about health care, health conditions and wellness, please visit the AAFP’s award-winning consumer website,

* Wonca is an unusual, yet convenient acronym comprising the first five initials of the World Organization of National Colleges, Academies and Academic Associations of General Practitioners/Family Physicians.

Wonca's short name is World Organization of Family Doctors.