AAFP Applauds Recommendation Regarding Physicians Spreading COVID-19 Misinformation
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, September 9, 2021
The American Academy of Family Physicians applauds a joint statement from the American Board of Family Medicine, American Board of Internal Medicine, and American Board of Pediatrics, saying physicians who provide misinformation about the COVID-19 vaccine contradict their ethical and professional responsibilities, and may subject them to disciplinary actions, including suspension of their medical license.
Misinformation about COVID-19, including vaccination, is prevalent and jeopardizes the health of the public. In August, AAFP praised an advisory from the U.S. Surgeon General urging all Americans to do their part to combat health misinformation during the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond. While medical experts are still learning about the virus and the variants, the AAFP knows the spread of patently false information can undermine safety, put communities at risk, and potentially cause patients to forgo treatment, rather than follow the guidance of trusted scientists and medical experts.
Patients count on their physicians—especially family doctors—to provide them with accurate information. To that end, family physicians should talk with their patients to ensure the information they receive comes from credible sources, such as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the World Health Organization, or local and state public health officials. The AAFP provides the health care community with resources on how physicians can support their practices and patients with the latest information on COVID-19, and general health and wellness. Now more than ever, physicians must actively ensure the public is receiving accurate information about the virus and how to effectively mitigate the spread—only then can we overcome this public health crisis.
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About American Academy of Family Physicians
Founded in 1947, the AAFP represents 133,500 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.