Archives / 2009 / October
  • Bending the cost curve

    Tags: academy update, health care costs, reform, health care, policy

    Now comes the hard part

    By Tom Banning
    TAFP Chief Executive Officer/Executive Vice President

    If one accepts the premise that politics drives health care policy, then it would follow that flawed politics produces flawed policy. Those hoping for a vigorous and thoughtful debate on health care reform—what works and how to pay for it—are instead forced to settle for media theatrics and hyperbole that come dangerously close to the level of UFO conspiracies.

    The town hall debacles and orchestrated lunacy during the August recess have dispelled any lingering hope that Congress can move away from the partisan bickering and sniping that has increasingly characterized what passes for debate in one of the world’s greatest deliberative bodies. Congressional leaders on both sides of the aisle, with the blessing and encouragement of their caucus’ political consultants, talk not in terms of medical economics and policy options for improving our health care system, but rather in calculated polling and focus-group-generated strategies designed to fire up their respective political base and confuse and scare the public to meet their own political objectives.

  • I didn’t know family docs could do that!

    Tags: scope of practice, family medicine, value, family medicine residency program

    By Troy Fiesinger, M.D.
    TAFP Vice President

    I was playing golf recently in a charity tournament with a couple of orthopedic surgeons whose office is down the road from mine. As we made the usual small talk about where we went to medical school and residency, I mentioned that I delivered babies. The response I received was tinged with incredulousness: “You deliver babies? I didn’t know family doctors still did that.”

    For me, obstetrics is part of what defines me as a family physician. Few things can compare to meeting a patient as a teenager, caring for her through high school and early adulthood, delivering her first child, and then helping her cope with the stresses of motherhood while her husband is deployed in Iraq. Her parents and little brother were also my patients. That is the essence of family medicine. Why wouldn’t I want to care for the entire family throughout the life cycle? When I am asked what I specialize in, I answer “everything.” I enjoy being a jack of all trades.

  • Invest in students, residents to keep specialty strong

    Tags: president's letter, kumar

    From the inaugural address of TAFP’s new president

    By Kaparaboyna Ashok Kumar, M.D., F.R.C.S.
    TAFP President, 2009-2010

    It is a great honor and privilege to serve as your president. I thank every one of you for placing your confidence in me and I will work sincerely and tirelessly to protect the interests of our members and patients.

    As I begin my term as president, I would like to thank some very special people. I thank my family, especially my wife Elaine, for their love, understanding, patience and support, without which I would not be able to take up these responsibilities.