Step Right Up: Applications to Form Member Interest Groups Now Available

May 13, 2014 03:49 pm News Staff

Eltanya Patterson, M.D., an international medical graduate constituency delegate from the Kentucky AFP, testifies during the May 3 business session of the National Conference of Special Constituencies in Kansas City, Mo. Patterson recently filed an application to form an AAFP member interest group for hospital-based physicians.

Earlier this month, the AAFP announced it had created a pathway for family physicians to establish member interest groups that would allow them to share their mutual interests, address common concerns and connect with the AAFP.

Now, members can go online to find out more about those interest groups, including the criteria used for reviewing applications to form them, as well as to access the application itself.

The AAFP Board of Directors approved the recommendation to establish a way for members to form these interest groups as part of a set of recommendations made by a member task force convened last year to evaluate how the Academy could better serve the specific needs of various member groups.

The idea behind the member interest groups is that they will provide a forum for AAFP active members with shared professional interests to interact with each other and with the Academy. Group members will have the opportunity to

  • network with fellow AAFP members,
  • participate in interest-specific continuing professional development activities,
  • deliver a unified message to Academy leaders,
  • develop AAFP policy,
  • provide input on Academy policies and positions when requested,
  • pursue professional leadership development within the AAFP,
  • connect to existing Academy resources, and
  • meet face-to-face at the AAFP Assembly.

After meeting certain criteria, established member interest groups would have the option to petition the Board to transition to member constituencies. The existing constituency groups -- women, minorities, new physicians, international medical graduates, and physicians who self-identify as gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender (GLBT) or who support GLBT issues -- gather annually at what in 2015 will be known as the National Conference of Constituency Leaders (formerly the National Conference of Special Constituencies).

Some groups of AAFP members have already submitted applications to form member interest groups, including a group of FPs who practice hospital medicine and a group of independent solo and small-practice physicians.