• 2021 National Conference

    Residents Address COVID-related Barriers to Training, More

    August 5, 2021, 3:15 p.m. News Staff — Participants in the AAFP’s virtual 2021 National Congress of Family Medicine Residents wrote and debated nearly a dozen resolutions July 29-31 that were intended to improve training and patient care.

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    Adopted resolutions and substitute resolutions will, according to the AAFP’s policymaking process, be reviewed and referred, when applicable, to AAFP leadership for further action.

    Clinical Encounter Requirement

    Delegates adopted a substitute resolution that called on the Academy to advocate to the ABFM and Accreditation Council of Graduate Medical Education for all forms of telemedicine visits to be counted toward meeting clinical encounter requirements.

    Those testifying provided anecdotal evidence about some kinds of telemedicine and telehealth visits not being accepted toward requirement of 1,650 clinical encounters. Delegates also expressed concerns about residency programs continuing to depend on telemedicine visits during the COVID-19 pandemic, which could impede residents’ ability to meet requirements.

    Advance Directives

    One delegate spoke about another barrier related to the pandemic, specifically, the difficulty of addressing care decisions with families in the current environment and the additional challenges posed by requirements that vary from state to state. Delegates responded by adopting a substitute resolution that called for the Academy to collaborate with other national specialty organizations and relevant state bodies to advocate for each state to have an advance directive database that can be accessible by physicians in any state to assist with end-of-life care.

    Financial Literacy

    Delegates also adopted a substitute resolution that urged the AAFP to support protected time for financial literacy education in medical school and residency. The original resolution also called for the Academy to “provide trustworthy financial literacy information for medical students and physicians,” but the reference committee noted that the AAFP already provides numerous resources on this topic.

    Osteopathic Therapy

    Osteopathic therapy earned the support of delegates, who adopted a substitute resolution that called on the AAFP to “recognize osteopathic manual therapy as a safe, evidence-based, non-pharmacologic treatment option for musculoskeletal conditions, especially acute low back pain, chronic low back pain, and pain and disability associated with pregnancy.” The resolution also asked the Academy to support continued research demonstrating osteopathic manipulative therapy as an effective modality in supporting the health and well-being of patients, and to provide more continuing education on this topic.

    Other Business

    Delegates also voted to

    • urge the AAFP to prioritize diversity on the Board of Directors and commissions and to create an anti-racism committee;
    • ask for support to create a nonpartisan national bureau to research gun safety and advise on related policy; and
    • reaffirm as existing policy calls to teach health care innovation in residency, support gender-affirming care and community hospitals, and study best practices for STI screening during pregnancy as well as expedited partner testing and therapy.