Report from TAFP’s 2011 Annual Session
& Scientific Assembly
Plus, view a series of photos from the conference
More than 450 physicians joined TAFP staff and leaders to celebrate the family of family medicine at the 2011 Annual Session and Scientific Assembly in Dallas. Amid fun and fellowship, family physicians from around the state earned CME, shaped Academy policy at the TAFP committee and commission meetings, and connected with medical industry leaders in the Exhibit Hall.
The Academy ramped up its focus on social media and new technology. Whether attending in person or virtually, all were encouraged to join the conversation through the Annual Session Social Media Portal — a page within TAFP’s TXFamilyDocs.org blog — that featured TAFP’s Twitter feed, daily news recaps, and the conference photo stream.
This enhanced interaction included the Academy’s first-ever live streaming video. Saturday afternoon, TAFP used web-streaming service Ustream to broadcast the TMLT lecture “Know Before You Sign! What to Look for in a Physician Employment Contract, Including Employment by Non-Profit Health Corporations.” Watch the archived video on the TAFP Ustream channel.
The scientific portion of the conference gave attendees the opportunity to receive continuing medical education credits in a variety of ways: through the two-day Orthopedics for the Office Workshop presented by the National Procedures Institute; the Self-Assessment Module Workshop on Health Behavior 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 Friday with an update on the Texas Academy led by TAFP leaders Melissa Gerdes, M.D., and Tom Banning. The most popular CME lectures were Five Things I Wish I Knew Last Year with Louis Kuritzky, M.D.; Certify Deaths: Appropriate Processes and Common Misconceptions with Satish Chundru, D.O.; Demystifying Accountable Care Organizations with Patrick Carter, M.D.; and the AAFP Update—Our Time is Now with AAFP President Roland Goertz, M.D., M.B.A.
Friday night, the TAFP Foundation hosted a reception to honor Goertz for his service as a long-time family medicine leader. Because of his involvement with the Foundation and his role as a champion for future family physicians, the Academy created a medical student scholarship in his name. Not surprisingly, his work on the state and national level has touched many and, as a result, has inspired TAFP members and friends to contribute to the scholarship. As of the end of the reception, contributions boosted the scholarship to full funding.
At the Annual Business and Awards Lunch on Saturday, the 2011 awardees for TAFP’s top honors were unveiled and the 2011-2012 officers assumed their new posts. The award recipients were:
- Thomas Mueller, M.D., of Columbus, Texas Family Physician of the Year;
- Isaac Kleinman, M.D., of Rosenberg, Physician Emeritus;
- Thomas Suehs of Austin, Patient Advocacy Award;
- Tricia Elliott, M.D., of Galveston, TAFPPAC Award;
- Leah Raye Mabry, M.D., R.Ph., of San Antonio, Presidential Award of Merit;
- Philip Huang, M.D., M.P.H., of Austin, Public Health Award;
- Bruce Echols, M.D., of Dallas, TAFP Foundation Philanthropist of the Year;
- Jonathan MacClements, M.D., F.A.A.F.P., of Tyler, Exemplary Teaching Award; and
- Kaparaboyna Ashok Kumar, M.D., F.R.C.S., of San Antonio, Special Constituency Leadership Award.
View more information on each awardee in the news release section of TAFP’s website.
In his acceptance speech for the award, Physician of the Year Mueller likened the specialty of family medicine to the sale of a new car. When buying a new car or truck, consumers know they can get a better value by getting a package deal rather than ordering options piecemeal, as well as getting other perks in the process, he said. They also know the deal is sealed with TTL — tax, title, and license.
“We in family medicine have survived and are successful because we are somewhat like that new car sale. Instead of our patients having to go piecemeal from one specialist to another to get all the components of their needed health care, we provide a package deal with value-added services and inform our patients of recommended services specifically tailored to them. And we seal the deal with our own form of TTL — touch, talk, and listen.”
Mueller also advised his fellow family physicians to not let health information technology like electronic medical records compromise the superior care they provide. “As we get further get into patient interaction with an EMR, I implore you to not discard that healing touch, talking to your patients, and truly listening to them because those are the things that have truly made family medicine special.”
Attending as AAFP invited guests, Goertz and AAFP past President Lanny Copeland, M.D., installed the new TAFP officers who will lead the Academy in 2011-2012. The new TAFP officers are:
- President I. L. Balkcom IV, M.D., of Sulphur Springs;
- President-elect Troy Fiesinger, M.D., of Sugar Land;
- Vice President Dale Ragle, M.D., of Dallas;
- Treasurer Clare Hawkins, M.D., of Baytown; and
- Parliamentarian Ajay Gupta, M.D., of Austin
In Balkcom’s presidential address, he listed some of the terms used for family physicians and described his frustrations with being called “just a general practitioner.” Instead of being called a GP or a gatekeeper, he told the audience he wants to be a “shepherd” of the people. “I want to lead them, I want to love them, and I want to take care of them from the time they’re born—and even before they’re born—to the time they leave us. That’s what we should strive for, to be a good shepherd.”
He spoke directly to TAFP members when he asked for their help to reinvigorate the specialty, to achieve the recognition and appreciation deserved for family physicians’ full breadth of practice. “I cannot do it alone, nor do I intend to. I’m going to ask you if you can donate five minutes for family medicine. That’s going to be my battle cry: Give five minutes for family medicine. Take the message to your colleagues and friends. It’s time for us to do that.”
The signature event occurred Saturday night as guests gathered in the Chaparral Club of the Sheraton Dallas for the annual President’s Party. The casino-night theme came to life on the 38th floor, and TAFP members and their families enjoyed great food, music, and a variety of games.
It’s never too early to mark your calendars for other TAFP symposia and programs, where you can expect more high-quality education and informative topics. TAFP will hold the Payment Reform Summit on Oct. 1 at the Omni Austin Hotel at Southpark. At this event, experts from around the country will share their strategies for success and vision for the future in a changing health care system. The event is open to family physicians in all practice types and at any stage of practice transformation. TAFP will also host six more Self-Assessment Module workshops across the state to help ABFM diplomates make progress toward Maintenance of Certification. See dates and details on the SAM page of TAFP's website.
Primary Care Summit will again be held in two locations in 2011: Primary Care Summit – Houston will be held at the Westin Oaks in Houston Oct. 21-23, and Primary Care Summit – Dallas/Fort Worth will be held at the Westin Galleria Dallas Nov. 11-13. Registration for both programs is now open. The 2012 C. Frank Webber Lectureship will be held Friday, March 2, at the Omni Austin Hotel at Southpark, and the 63rd Annual Session and Scientific Assembly will be held July 11-15, 2012, at the Hilton Austin Hotel and Austin Convention Center.