AAFP State Legislative Conference Is Scheduled for November
The annual state legislative conference of the American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP) will be held November 12 through 14 in La Jolla, California. Family physicians, state legislators, political experts, lobbyists as well as AAFP national and chapter leaders will join in a discussion of health care reform in the states. Practical sessions will focus on becoming your own trend spotter, the impact of federal legislative issues on states, the tobacco settlement, state political action committees and managed care. For a brochure or additional information, contact Fay Fulton, AAFP State Legislative Issues Manager, at 888-794-7481.
AMA Appoints Ad Hoc Task Force on E&M Documentation System
On September 14, the American Medical Association (AMA) announced appointees to its new Ad Hoc Task Force on the Evaluation and Management (E&M) Documentation System. The task force will advise the AMA Board as it continues to work with the Health Care Financing Administration to refine, test and evaluate the E&M documentation guidelines prior to full implementation. The 13-member task force will be chaired by Susan K. Turney, M.D., an internist from Wisconsin, with Steven R. Permut, M.D., a family physician from Delaware serving as vice chair.
California Physician Becomes AAFP Family Physician of the Year
Harry W. Depew, M.D., San Diego, Calif., was named 2000 Family Physician of the Year by the American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP) at the annual scientific assembly in September in Orlando, Fla. Dr. Depew grew up as the only hearing person in a family of five and developed a deep committment to the deaf community. He learned to sign at a young age and is fluent in American Sign Language. He helped establish sign language as a fulfillment of a second language requirement at San Marcus State University. One third of his patient population is deaf. Dr. Depew earned his medical degree from George Washington University Medical School in Washington, D.C., in 1946. He is in a group practice in San Diego with one other physician.
Dr. Depew was the 1999 California Family Physician of the Year and served as president of the California Academy of Family Physicians (CAFP) in 1991. He represents the CAFP on the state's Advisory Group for Newborn Hearing Screening Program.
Number of Medical School Applicants Decreases for Second Consecutive Year
The number of applicants to U.S. medical schools fell last year for the second consecutive year, according to a report in the September 1, 1999 issue of JAMA. Applicants for the 1998–99 class totaled 41,004, a 4.7 percent decrease from the 43,020 applicants for the class entering in 1997. The number of applicants for the 1997 class was 8.4 percent below the number of applicants for the class of 1996. The authors of the study in JAMA analyzed data from the 1998–99 Liaison Committee on Medical Education Annual Medical School Questionnaire. Women made up 43.4 percent of applicants in 1998, a little more than the 42.5 percent in 1997. The number of female applicants for the 1998 entering class was 2.7 percent below the number for 1997 and the number of male applicants was 6.2 percent lower. According to the investigators, likely explanations for the decrease include a shortage of jobs under managed care, a reduced earning potential and tuition debts of up to $100,000.
Shalala Names Members of New Primary Care Advisory Committee
Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Donna E. Shalala has named 23 members to the newly chartered Advisory Committee on Training in Primary Care Medicine and Dentistry. The committee, which will meet twice a year and will develop their first report by November 2001, will provide the HHS with guidance on improving primary medical and dental care services in America. “The people chosen for this important committee represent the best in their fields as well as the diversity of our nation,” Secretary Shalala said. “Their advice will guide us in our effort to eliminate health care disparities and bring quality primary care and dental health to every American.”
Family physicians and doctors of osteopathy who are on the committee include the following: Staci Dixon, D.O.; Ronald D. Franks, M.D.; John J. Frey, III, M.D.; Julea G. Garner, M.D.; Carlos A. Moreno, M.D., M.S.P.H.; Harry J. Morris, D.O., M.P.H.; Denise V. Rodgers, M.D.; Joseph J. Scherger, M.D., M.P.H.; and Terence E. Steyer, M.D.
Dr. Graham Receives the First Family Physician Executive Award
Robert Graham, M.D., AAFP executive vice president, is the first recipient of the Robert Graham Family Physician Executive Award, the newest award given by the AAFP. The award was presented at the AAFP's annual scientific meeting in September in Orlando, Fla. The award, named for Dr. Graham, recognizes an outstanding family physician for his or her role as a physician executive. Dr. Graham has been the executive vice president of the AAFP since 1985. He has also provided representation for the AAFP with other organizations including those from the medical, public and private sectors. He serves on the board of directors of the AAFP Foundation. Dr. Graham recently announced that he will be leaving the AAFP, but not until a replacement for him can be found.
Future candidates for the new award will be AAFP members whose executive skills in health care organizations have contributed to excellence in the provision of high quality health care, fostered the tenets of family practice and demonstrated how family physicians can have an impact on improving health.