Tuesday, June 21, 2005

Patch Adams, Family Medicine, and Medical Specialties

The title is a bit misleading, this blog really has nothing to do with Patch Adams, other than when I flipped on the moron monitor last evening I found the movie Patch Adams showing on ABC. It's an entertaining movie and I enjoyed watching it again. More important is the movie made me remember a subject I wanted to share with anyone reading this blog, that subject is Family Medicine.

I work for The American Academy of Family Physicians (The AAFP). The Academy is the organization representing doctors who specialize in Family Medicine. The American Board of Medical Specialties recognizes 24 areas of medical specialty from Ophthalmology to Colon and Rectal Surgery. If you stop and think about it that covers just about everything from top to bottom, and so do physicians who specialize in Family Medicine. I'm not claiming that your local Family Physician is as well equipped to diagnose eye disease as an Ophthalmologist, but I'd wager he or she is better equipped than your local Colon and Rectal Surgeon. Unless you've got a third eyeball somewhere unmentionable , in which case don’t you dare moon anyone!

My point is Family Medicine is a real medical specialty, reconized by the American Board of Medical Specialties, and Family Medicine covers the entire person top to bottom. These doctors go through as much training as any other medical specialist. Well ahead of the times, the AAFP was a leader in requiring its member doctors stay current through a process of Continuing Medical Education. The Academy did this in 1947! These are serious doctors who chose Family Medicine as their area of expertise because of their love of people. They hold claim to the title of Family Physician not because they want to make tons-o-money being a doctor but because they want to make a difference in peoples lives. They’re kind of like Patch Adams when you think about it, and by the way, Patch Adams is a member of the AAFP.

For more information visit …

American Board of Medical Specialties
American Board of Family Medicine


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