Family docs gather for great education, fun
at TAFP’s 61st Annual Session
More than 450 physicians joined TAFP staff and leaders to celebrate the family of family medicine at the 61st Annual Session and Scientific Assembly in San Antonio. Amid fun and fellowship, family physicians from around the state earned CME, shaped Academy policy at the TAFP committee and commission meetings, learned about all facets of the medical industry in the Exhibit Hall, and explored historic San Antonio.
The scientific portion of the conference gave attendees the opportunity to receive quality continuing medical education credits in a variety of ways: through the two-day Office and Musculoskeletal Ultrasound Workshop presented by the National Procedures Institute; the Self-Assessment Module Workshop on Asthma to aid board-certified physicians in their maintenance of certification process; and a variety of workshops and lectures spanning Thursday through Sunday.
The lectures opened with an update on the Texas Academy led by TAFP leaders Kaparaboyna Ashok Kumar, M.D., F.R.C.S.; Melissa Gerdes, M.D.; and Tom Banning. The most popular CME lectures were Case Studies in Diabetes Management with Charles Reasner II, M.D.; Current Recommendations for the Evaluation and Management of Hypertension with Michael Bloch, M.D.; Wound Care for the Primary Care Practitioner with Aimee Garcia, M.D.; and Managing Patients with Treatment-resistant Depression with Christopher Ticknor, M.D.
The Academy supported family medicine research through the 2010 Student, Resident, and Community Physician Poster Competition held on Friday. Researchers entered in three categories: primary research, evidence-based review, and case report. First place in the primary research category for family physicians went to Sally Weaver, M.D., from the McLennan County Medical Education and Research Foundation for her poster, “Exponential Pharmacy Growth as a Community Health Center.”
The first place in primary research for residents went to Shilpa Miniyar Shah, M.D., who recently completed her family medicine residency at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center and will now move to California to start practice. Co-author on Shah’s poster, “Depo-Provera and Herpes Genitalis: Is There an Association?” was Gretchen Stuart, M.D.
Finally, first place in primary research for students went to Shannon Essler, a pre-med student at Southwestern University in Georgetown. Resident poster competition winners receive cash prizes, and students and physicians receive plaques.
At the Annual Business and Awards Lunch on Saturday, the 2010 awardees for TAFP’s top honors were unveiled and the 2010-2011 officers assumed their new posts. The recipients were Lloyd Van Winkle, M.D., of Castroville, Texas Family Physician of the Year; Bruce K. Jacobson, M.D., of North Richland Hills, Physician Emeritus; Rep. Veronica Gonzales of McAllen, Patient Advocacy Award; Stephen Benold, M.D., of Georgetown, TAFPPAC Award; Carlos Roberto Jaén, M.D., Ph.D., of San Antonio, Presidential Award of Merit; James and Karen White of Austin, TAFP Foundation Philanthropists of the Year; and Ulysses Urquidi, M.D., M.S., F.A.A.F.P., of El Paso, Exemplary Teaching Award.
Presented for the first time this year was a new award, the Special Constituency Leadership Award. It was created by the Section on Special Constituencies and recognizes an outstanding TAFP-member family physician who has been a strong advocate for a specific special constituency or, as a member of one of the five special constituencies, has served as an outstanding leader in some capacity. The 2010 recipient was Amer Shakil, M.D., F.A.A.F.P., of Carrollton. Shakil is the residency program director in the Department of Family Medicine at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas and he started a small free clinic for the underserved that has grown into one of the largest faith-based charity clinics in the Dallas Metroplex.
Physician of the Year Van Winkle told the audience at the awards ceremony of family physicians, family medicine residents, medical students, and legislators that family doctors get to be part of something wonderful. “It’s sometimes difficult, but the difficult journey is part of the gift. When you students are going through the four years of medical school and then another three years of residency and maybe a fellowship, it isn’t easy, there are tough moments, there are call nights you won’t forget, but the difficult journey is part of the gift that we give our patients.”
He continued, listing different criteria he felt a physician must have to be named Physician of the Year: an excellent staff, a supportive family, great patients, and a willing physician partner.
“What else you need is grey hair. You have to do it long enough to understand what it’s really all about, and what it’s really all about is the doctor-patient relationship. The highest-paid physician in the largest hospital in this city is a pathologist. But after 25 years, would you trade your relationship with your patients to be a pathologist? No, no one in this room would. That’s who we are. That’s part of that journey I was talking about.”
Lastly, Van Winkle said you need an education built on interactions with great physicians. As a tribute to the great doctors from whom he’s learned, he showed a video featuring photos of TAFP’s past and current leaders set to the song “What a Wonderful World” by Louis Armstrong.
Attending as the AAFP invited guest, AAFP and TAFP past president James Martin, M.D., installed the new TAFP officers who will lead the Academy in 2010-2011. The new TAFP officers are President Gerdes of Whitehouse; President-elect I. L. Balkcom IV, M.D., of Sulphur Springs; Vice President Clare Hawkins, M.D., of Baytown; Treasurer Troy Fiesinger, M.D., of Sugar Land; and Parliamentarian Dale Ragle, M.D., of Dallas.
In Gerdes’ presidential address, she described how events in her life, even those before medical school, prepared her to be a family physician. They also prepared her for the role as president, which she says will encompass being a “faithful servant, listener, and even cheerleader.” From her first job at McDonald’s through her undergraduate education in Communications Studies to her involvement as a cheerleader for the Northwestern Wildcats, each experience gave her knowledge and wisdom she still calls upon in her daily life.
In her year as president, she will focus on five areas, each of which presents its own challenges: recognition and promotion, communication, education, advocacy, and workforce development. She told the audience that she is confident she will be able to meet these challenges with the help of a superb team of officers and staff. She then called on the larger membership to be part of that team by getting involved, getting to know their colleagues, and influencing people.
Once again this year, TAFP combined the Town Hall meeting with the meeting of the Commission on Legislative and Public Affairs. Harvey Kronberg, writer and editor of the political newsletter the Quorum Report, led a thoughtful discussion on the upcoming November elections. Another special guest, Rep. Larry Taylor, R-Friendswood, gave an insiders’ perspective on the upcoming 82nd Legislative Session and challenges lawmakers and physicians will face as the state moves forward.
The feature event occurred Saturday night as guests gathered at the beautiful San Antonio Botanical Gardens for the annual President’s Party. TAFP members and their families welcomed the new TAFP president to office with a garden party celebration featuring great food, music, and garden tours.
It’s never too early to mark your calendars for other TAFP symposia where you can expect bigger and better educational programs, informative topics, and great events. The 2010 Primary Care Summit will be held in two locations this year: Primary Care Summit – Houston will be held at the Westin Oaks in Houston Oct. 29-31, and Primary Care Summit – Dallas/Fort Worth will be held at the Westin Galleria Dallas Nov. 5-7. Registration for both programs is now open. The 2011 C. Frank Webber Lectureship will be held Friday, March 11, at the Omni Austin Hotel at Southpark, and the 62nd Annual Session and Scientific Assembly will be held July 27-31, 2011, at the Sheraton Dallas.