It's never been easier for AAFP members to participate in the Academy's policymaking process than it will be this year. That's because this year's COD is being held virtually, meaning you can join your colleagues to discuss key family medicine issues from anywhere.
Although the virtual format requires that some adjustments be made to the normal course of events, most activities remain unchanged -- you'll simply participate from your home or office instead of in a large meeting venue. For example, you will hear annual reports from your AAFP officers, but we will not receive official greetings from the other family of family medicine organizations.
Also this year, according to a tentative schedule of activities, the COD's reference committee hearings will take place over a two-day period before the Congress actually convenes. On Oct. 3, the reference committees on Practice Enhancement, Health of the Public and Science, and Education will consider reports from the Academy's commissions and Board of Directors and discuss resolutions submitted by chapters. The following day, the Advocacy and Organization and Finance reference committees will do likewise.
On Oct. 11, you'll be able to virtually meet the candidates for AAFP office (you'll have more opportunities to hear from them the following day) and participate in a Town Hall where Academy leaders will offer updates on the organization, its advocacy activities and other topics. Come prepared with your questions!
Chapter and constituency delegates will vote on resolutions and conduct other business starting Oct. 12 and continuing the next day, when they will elect AAFP officers and members of the Board of Directors.
Before then, be sure to review each candidate's personal statement and find out more about them -- what they've accomplished and what they consider important -- by exploring the 2020 AAFP Candidates webpage.
From there, you can link to each candidate's individual page, where you can access that candidate's
- contact information,
- personal campaign statement,
- biography and
- curriculum vitae.
Be sure to have your member ID information handy; you'll need it to access these pages.
If you find you share common ground with certain candidates on issues that are important to you, your practice and your patients, consider asking your chapter delegates to the COD to vote for those candidates.
In addition, although the AAFP's Candidate Campaign Activities and Rules document(389 KB PDF) states that candidates for Academy offices may not use official AAFP social media channels (e.g., AAFP Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn, Google+) for campaigning purposes, candidates are welcome to use the official COD event hashtag -- #aafpcod -- in any messages sent from their personal Twitter accounts, including campaign messages. Academy members with Twitter accounts can use that COD hashtag to follow campaign activities and other events leading up to the election.
And don't forget, as the Congress proceedings wind down, Family Medicine Experience -- also being held virtually this year -- will be ramping up. More information about AAFP FMX, the Academy's largest annual meeting -- is available online.
Take particular note of the fact that the deadline to take advantage of early bird registration discounts for this year's FMX is July 31, so don't delay!