FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, August 7, 2019
American Academy of Family Physicians
LEAWOOD, Kan. — The American Academy of Family Physicians and six other public health and medical associations today called for policies that begin to address firearm-related injuries and deaths. The call, “Firearm-Related Injury and Death in the United States: A Call to Action From the Nation’s Leading Physician and Public Health Professional Organizations,” was published today in the Annals of Internal Medicine.
“Somehow, we need to come together as a nation on this issue,” said AAFP President John Cullen, MD. “Treating firearm injuries as a public health issue is an important first step. We did this for motor vehicle accidents and have seen a significant decrease in injuries. We didn’t try to remove cars, we made them safer. The public health approach worked. We need more data regarding gun-related injuries and deaths, but both sides of the debate should come together now and work on solutions—including safe storage laws, expanded background checks, research and improved access to mental health services—we can all agree on.”
Joining the American College of Physicians, American Academy of Pediatrics, American College of Surgeons, American Medical Association, American Psychiatric Association and the American Public Health Association in the policy paper, the AAFP called for:
“In this call to action, physicians and public health experts emphasize the need to improve the health and safety of our patients, their families and communities, while respecting the U.S. Constitution,” said Cullen. “By focusing on the areas that we can agree on as a nation, we can significantly reduce the number of people injured or killed by firearms.”
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 www.aafp.org/media. For information about health care, health conditions and wellness, please visit the AAFP’s award-winning consumer website, www.familydoctor.org.