• 2021 National Conference

    Student Delegates Act on SUD, Advance Directives

    August 5, 2021, 3:45 p.m. News Staff — Participants in the AAFP’s virtual National Congress of Student Members 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.

    Substance Use Disorder

    Delegates adopted a substitute resolution that called for the AAFP to support curricular reform aimed at “increasing student awareness and education of evidence-based treatment modalities for substance use disorder and reducing stigma against people who use drugs.”

    A reference committee report acknowledged that the regulatory issues related to prescribing buprenorphine for opioid use disorder been considered at length by the AAFP’s Congress of Delegates, Board of Directors and the Commission on Federal and State Policy and that the Academy is advocating for the removal of barriers to treatment. However, the committee asked the AAFP to go further to support medical student access to education.

    Gender-affirming Care

    The student reference committee heard mixed testimony about recognizing gender-affirming care as a core competency in residency training and medical school. The committee noted in its report that the Academy already supports gender-affirming care and offers a recommended curriculum guideline for residents that addresses many of the aims of a resolution that was submitted on the subject, and the AAFP also provides members with “toolkits, resources, webinars and continuing medical education opportunities on this topic.” In fact, a similar resolution was reaffirmed as existing policy in this year’s National Congress of Family Medicine Residents. The student reference committee, however, wanted the AAFP to do more to support medical student access to education on gender-affirming care. Ultimately, delegates passed a substitute resolution that called for the Academy to create specific policy recommending that medical students receive education on gender diversity and gender-affirming care.

    The resolution also called for the Academy to encourage the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education’s Review Committee for Family Medicine to acknowledge the full spectrum of gender diversity in the creation of the next family medicine residency program requirements.

    Advance Directives

    Delegates adopted an amended resolution that called on the AAFP to reaffirm the importance of frequent patient conversations regarding advance care planning and the creation of living wills and care planning documents. It also urged the Academy to promote the importance of documenting patient preferences in national databases and EHRs.

    Other Business

    The Congress also voted to

    • adopt a substitute resolution that called for the Academy to support marriage being accessible to people with disabilities without risking loss of Supplemental Security Income and Medicaid coverage;
    • adopt a resolution that called for the AAFP to encourage lifestyle medicine, including food-as-medicine curriculum, in medical school and residency training, as well as culturally-relevant lifestyle medicine curriculum focused on practice in underserved communities; and
    • reaffirm as existing policy resolutions related to learner access to mental health services, public support for and promotion of the safety and efficacy of COVID-19 vaccines, and advocacy for health care workers to receive those vaccines.