World Family Doctor Day Celebrates Family Medicine on May 19

May 19, 2014

Megan Moriarty
Public Relations Strategist
American Academy of Family Physicians
(800) 274-2237 Ext. 6052

LEAWOOD, Kan. — The World Organization of Family Doctors (WONCA*) will celebrate World Family Doctor Day around the globe on May 19. First declared by WONCA in 2010, World Family Doctor Day is a day to highlight the role and contribution of family physicians in health care systems around the world.

Family medicine has long been the preferred model of care outside the United States and is the cornerstone of an ongoing, personal patient-physician relationship focused on integrated care.

“Family medicine is comprehensive in its focus — caring for an individual’s health across the life span,” said Julie Wood, MD, AAFP vice president for health of the public and interprofessional activities. “World Family Doctor Day highlights family medicine for adaptability, brings attention to the important work family physicians do, and encourages medical students to make a contribution in the global community by choosing family medicine as a specialty.”

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.

WONCA has an impact on the world of family medicine and 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 practice, rural practice, quality assurance, informatics, education, communications and publications, research, health behavior change, tobacco cessation, women and family medicine, mental health and respiratory diseases. Since inception many of these groups have carried out groundbreaking studies and research, and have produced a variety of important publications.

The American Academy of Family Physicians is a longstanding member of WONCA. The 115,900 AAFP members join with the126 WONCA member organizations in 102 countries to celebrate World Family Doctor Day.

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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 For information about health care, health conditions and wellness, please visit the AAFP’s award-winning consumer website,