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Am Fam Physician. 2008;77(1):15

Did you notice anything different on the cover of this issue? In the lower right-hand corner is the first new organizational seal for the American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP) in 36 years. The new seal was introduced last October at the Scientific Assembly. The seal signals a new direction for the AAFP, one of renewed advocacy for family physicians and the specialty of family medicine.

Feedback from family physicians has been clear: you need and want an organization that will lobby government, negotiate with payers, partner with businesses, and elevate respect for and understanding of family medicine. The new seal is a symbol of the Academy's new role dedicated to positioning family physicians as the foundation of a primary care, physician-based health care system. The AAFP is working to ensure that family physicians continue to be respected as providers of vital, quality health care that is delivered to patients cost-effectively.

As the organization has evolved over its 60 years, its seal has changed several times; the last was in 1971. The new seal features a variation on the staff of Aesculapius (the ancient Greco-Roman god of medicine), commonly used to symbolize the practice and profession of medicine. The traditional symbol features a serpent-entwined staff; the new AAFP seal replaces the staff with a torch. The torch's guiding light embodies honor, valor, and victory. By building respect and awareness for family medicine and championing family physicians, the AAFP aims to be its members' guiding light.

The Academy is doing more than changing its look. The AAFP is launching a new integrated multimedia campaign that includes the Web site, AAFP News Now, and national meetings. In addition, this campaign includes advertisements in major national newspapers (such as The Washington Post) to promote family physicians to policy makers and business leaders. This is all in a renewed effort to assertively represent family physicians to the health care system and government leaders. You can get more information on these new initiatives at

Immunization Schedules In This Issue

For your convenience, we have included the recently updated Childhood and Adolescent Immunization Schedules as a removable insert in this issue. This “harmonized” schedule is endorsed by three sponsoring organizations: the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP;, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP;, and the AAFP ( For additional information, read the introduction to this year's immunization update (page 96) written by Jonathan Temte, MD, PhD, and Doug Campos-Outcalt, MD, MPA, who are AAFP liaisons to ACIP. Dr Temte is also a member of the Harmonized Schedule Working Group.

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