Contents tagged with president's letter

  • Texas Family Physician - Vol. 66 No. 1, Winter 2015

    Tags: texas family physician, members, president's letter, perspective, medicare, thomas, physician of the year, eagle lake, health care reform, reform, aafp, health is primary, patient-centered medical home, reiner, practice management, national conference of constituency leaders, tafp foundation

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    President’s letter

    Perspective

    CONTENTS

    Texas Family Physician of the Year 2014-15: Russell Thomas, Jr., DO, MPHThis year’s Physician … more

  • All hands on deck

    Tags: ragle, president's letter, 84th, legislature, medicare, meaningful use, icd-10, graduate medical education, direct primary care, public health, medicaid, physician of the day, tafppac, key contacts

    By Dale Ragle, MD
    TAFP President, 2014-2015

    Welcome colleagues to a new year, a new Congress, and a new Texas Legislature. On all fronts, health care is evolving. These changes present family physicians tremendous opportunities to shape our future health care system. It’s up to all of us as family physicians to advocate for our specialty in the halls where decisions are made that affect our patients and our practices.

    In Washington, D.C., the 114th Congress is well under way and is busy on a number of health care issues. AAFP’s advocacy work is focused on fixing Medicare’s broken payment model, changing Meaningful Use requirements, delaying ICD-10, and reforming graduate medical education funding. Another area in which AAFP is concentrating efforts is in making payment for direct primary care services a qualified health benefit under IRS rules. This would enable patients to pay for direct primary care with pre-tax HSA and FLEX account dollars, a move that would aid the expansion of this emerging and promising model of practice.

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  • Texas Family Physician - Vol. 65 No. 4, Fall 2014

    Tags: texas family physician, members, accountable care organization, annual session and scientific assembly, president's letter, perspective, women's health, finance, eidson, hines, hard hats for little heads, e-prescribing, medicare

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    President’s letter

    Perspective

    CONTENTS

    Embracing change in the ValleyA small group of independent primary care docs in and around … more

  • Keep doing what you do best; change what needs to be changed

    Tags: president, ragle, president's letter, health care reform

    An adaptation of the 2014-2015 incoming president’s address

    By Dale Ragle, MD
    TAFP President, 2014-2015

    It is an honor and a privilege to serve my fellow family docs as TAFP President. There is no other group of people that I would rather serve and give my time to than you. I represent all of you, whether you are a solo, rural doc in west Texas where you may be the only doctor within 70 miles, a doctor in a big multi-specialty group, a resident in training, or a medical student aspiring for a career in family medicine. You all deserve my service and attention and you all shall get it.

    The last three members to serve as president of our organization have initiated their terms with inaugural speeches about change and reform of our health care system. I too will tell you that our health care system is indeed changing and we are going to have to adapt in some way. The forces driving this change are bigger than TAFP, they are bigger than AAFP, and they are bigger than the AMA.

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  • Get connected: Take advantage of the many social and educational networking opportunities your Academy has to offer

    Tags: hawkins, president's letter, social media, continuing professional development, cme

    By Clare Hawkins, M.D., M.Sc.
    TAFP President, 2013-2014

    Electronic opportunities to connect with friends, family, and colleagues abound. I can communicate very quickly with people I know and people I don’t know. I can broadcast ideas by blogging and I can post photos or see others’ photos in many ways. This is both exciting and frightening. Who am I reaching? Who knows these details about me?

    As a family physician most of my contact is with individual patients or their families, essentially one on one. Therefore these new opportunities are not familiar to my normal social intercourse. I’m so used to confidentiality and preserving my professional image that in my middle age, I find myself uncomfortable reaching out.

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  • Slow medicine: Taking time to practice the art of family medicine

    Tags: hawkins, president's letter

    By Clare Hawkins, M.D., M.Sc.
    TAFP President, 2013-2014

    Do you ever think that your day is going slowly? Do the mundane features of patient care make you feel slow? Or perhaps, by contrast, you feel it is going too fast, like that proverbial hamster on the treadmill.

    My treadmill involves dealing with difficult patients, paperwork requests, and the idiosyncrasies of the electronic health record. In spite of the speed, however, I don’t always feel efficient. Even when I feel I can complete a patient encounter quickly, this does not feel like a triumph. The speed comes at the expense of a lack of connection with the patient, or less fulfilment with medicine than I had expected.

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  • Making the grade

    Tags: hawkins, president's letter, report, quality

    By Clare Hawkins, M.D., M.Sc.
    TAFP President, 2013-2014

    As I reviewed my children’s report cards recently, I found myself proud of their achievements. I also began reflecting on whether these grades were an accurate reflection of their past performance or current abilities. I know they worked very hard and deserved credit, and that being graded was a great deal of stress for them. Ultimately I found myself being thankful that I was no longer in the educational system where I was frequently under pressure to perform and be graded by teachers and professors. Then I stopped myself and considered the last report I received from a health plan which outlined my performance as a doctor. Unfair! How do they know how good I am? They don’t really know how well I perform.

    Increasingly we physicians find that health plans, governments, or employers are evaluating the care that we provide. Do we know what they are measuring? Will it affect my payments? Will it affect my employment?

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  • Let’s work together to keep our Academy and our specialty strong in a time of great change

    Tags: hawkins, president, president's letter, health care reform

    An excerpt from the 2013 incoming presidential address

    By Clare Hawkins, M.D., M.Sc.
    TAFP President, 2013-2014

    Change is inevitable. We can change or die. As family physicians, we can lead the coming change in our health care delivery system.

    Charles Darwin said, “It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent that survives. It is the one that is the most adaptable to change.”

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  • What is a good doctor?

    Tags: fiesinger, president's letter, family physician, quality

    By Troy Fiesinger, M.D.
    TAFP President, 2012-2013

    Although I missed the blockbuster 2011 Brad Pitt movie Moneyball, I recently read the book by Michael Lewis. Oakland A’s general manager Billy Beane, a promising high school prospect out of California, was drafted by the New York Mets the same year as Darryl Strawberry and Lenny Dykstra. Despite looking like a top prospect to the scouts, Beane’s major league career ended early while Strawberry and Dykstra won the 1986 World Series with the Mets. As the general manager of the Athletics, Beane struggled to define more accurately what makes a baseball player good. This got me thinking: How do I know I’m a good doctor?

    I can point to the diplomas on my wall and tell you I went to good schools, but the U.S. News and World Report rankings are little more than opinion surveys with minimal hard data to back up their lists. I can show you a copy of my Texas medical license, but that just means I haven’t broken any laws nor received any complaints to the Texas Medical Board. You could look at my American Board of Family Medicine diploma, know that I have passed a national exam and do annual online education modules, and consequently assume I know something. You do not know, however, if I am better than the doctors across the street.

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  • So easy a child can do it

    Tags: fiesinger, president's letter, electronic, technology, health information technology, ehr

    By Troy Fiesinger, M.D.
    TAFP President, 2012-2013

    When we walked into the dentist’s office, my kids ran straight up to the computer to check in for their appointments. This was my first time to take them to the dentist, as my wife usually drives them. My son and daughter quickly entered their names on the touch screen, grabbed books, and took their seats. Freed from manually registering patients, the front-desk clerk monitored patient flow and welcomed everyone to the clinic with freshly-baked chocolate chip cookies.

    Later that day, I went to my doctor’s office where I signed my name on a clipboard and patiently waited in the lobby as patients have done for decades. His office has the same electronic medical record as mine, but his clipboard system has not changed in decades. My clinic has an electronic medical record with a web portal and secure patient e-mail, but our patients still queue at the front desk to give their information to a clerk. At the gas station, I swipe my credit card and fill my gas tank without talking to another human being. At the airport, I walk up to the kiosk, insert a credit card, and print the boarding pass for the flight I checked in to the night before. We expect businesses to adopt the latest customer service technology and embrace their use while we keep our clinics in the technological dark ages, suspiciously questioning each new innovation. We complain about the inefficiencies of our EMRs but are slow to adopt innovations to improve the efficiency and ease of our patients’ visits to our offices. Are we so focused on our frustrations that we forget our patients?

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