A lot has happened since we published it, but you may remember a special issue of FPM titled “Big Ideas to Help Your Practice Thrive” (September 2004). We certainly keep hearing from readers who remember it. The issue was assembled almost entirely from good ideas that our readers had put to work in their practices – ideas that, once published, excited and inspired other readers.
We've let the field lie fallow for a few years, but now it's time for another harvest. This issue contains the official announcement of the FPM 2008 Reader Challenge: A Search for Big Ideas That Have Made a Difference in Family Physicians' Practices.
We hope you will participate. Your idea doesn't have to be original to you, as long as there's something innovative about your application of it to family medicine, and as long as you or your group has put it to work. Even the oldest ideas can be made new simply by being transplanted. Other fields abound with good ideas that are not yet widely known or widely implemented in family medicine. Think about your practice and all the ways you have made it better for you, your staff and your patients. There may be a big idea in there.
How big an idea is big enough? You can get a sense of what we're looking for from browsing through the September 2004 issue again. It's online at https://www.aafp.org/fpm/20040900/. We don't need the biggest thing since disposable scalpel blades; it just has to be something that you're proud of and that you suspect may be new to many other family physicians.
This isn't a writing contest
A single good idea is worth a thousand pages of good prose. It's the ideas we need. To enter the challenge, you just need to answer the four questions listed in the announcement. (Of course, if you can't resist the urge to write a full-length article describing your idea, send it along. We'll be happy to have it for review, but that's another matter.) Are you proud of some new and innovative aspect of your practice? Then answer the questions about your idea, and send your entry off to FPM. The deadline for entries is March 15, 2008, and winning ideas will be published in the September 2008 issue. Who knows? Maybe your idea will improve the lives of thousands of physicians and patients.