If you are headed to the American Academy of Family Physician's 2002 Annual Scientific Assembly in San Diego next month, perhaps you will accept my invitation to stop by the AAFP Publications division booth on the exhibit hall floor. It's a great chance for the staff of AFP to meet family physician readers and learn what is going on in their classrooms, residencies, and clinics. Whether you are in practice in a rural area, an urban area, academics or research, we want to hear your story. It's the best opportunity AFP has each year to get to know you personally and find out about your likes or dislikes.
We can also answer your questions about writing an article for AFP or becoming a reviewer. We can provide you with the latest information on evidence-based medicine (EBM) in AFP. We will have handouts that will highlight the changes we've made in the journal over the past year in adding an EBM focus, and—whether you are a reader or an author—this information should prove useful. We'll also have copies of the most up-to-date guide for authors. Many authors will have signed up for the writing course offered each year at the meeting by AFP's editor, Jay Siwek, M.D. If you have never signed up for one of these courses, you may want to mark your calendar for next year, since courses fill up early.
Each year at the booth, we ask visitors to complete a one-page written survey. This written survey is one of a variety of tools that we use to keep in touch with readers throughout the year. We also mail a comprehensive survey, ask readers to answer a few questions about their CME experience at the end of each “Clinical Quiz,” publish occasional surveys in “Inside AFP,” call for reader input via e-mail, and conduct an occasional focus group. Our favorite way to get to know you, though, is face to face, and that's why the Annual Scientific Assembly is so important to us.
Invariably, hundreds of family physicians stop by the booth each year and share with us bits and pieces of their lives as doctors. Rural doctors, urban doctors, international visitors, teachers, researchers, authors, procedure specialists, military doctors—each has a unique experience in the field of family medicine. They share funny stories, enlightening experiences, teaching points, and heart-wrenching tales. They recount troubles and victories, and may tell a joke or two. In these personal moments we're reminded that family physicians are just downright nice people. What better group of people to work with than family physicians, the professionals who chose as their work the care of families across all spectrums of life. We're proud of our family medicine specialists, and that's why we like this particular reunion.