FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, January 15, 2021
Statement attributable to:
Ada D. Stewart, MD
American Academy of Family Physicians
“Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was a transformational leader in the civil rights movement. He fought for equality for all Americans and sought to end racial discrimination and segregation.
“As we honor Dr. King’s legacy, the American Academy of Family Physicians recognizes that there is more work to do.
“COVID-19 has exposed the health disparities that have long existed in our health care system. Sadly, Black and brown people in the U.S have been disproportionately affected by this virus. Family physicians are the cornerstones of their communities and are uniquely positioned to identify barriers to achieving health equity.
“One of the AAFP’s strategic goals is to take a leadership role in helping our members address health disparities and social determinants of health in their communities. The AAFP’s Center for Diversity and Health Equity equips family physicians with tools and resources to take action and confront health disparities head on. We also join with our members in opposing and taking action to dismantle institutional racism in our health care system and in our communities.
The AAFP recently launched an effort to identify what more we can do to support our members in these important efforts.
“Further, the AAFP recognizes and celebrates the diversity of thought across our nation. Just as Dr. King did, we strongly value and support the right for everyone’s voice to be heard. As our country grapples with significant divisions, we call on everyone to come together to heal and listen to and respect one another, even when we don’t agree.
“Together, we can and must continue Dr. King’s important work.”
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.