Archives / 2021 / June
  • A scribe's story

    Tags: scribe story, Ben Saul, Harish Thoppe, Larry Kravitz, TAFP, Texas Academy of Family Physicians, pre-med, scribe

    By Ben Saul, Harish Thoppe, and Larry Kravitz, MD

    It is hard to lay bare your personal medical practice to the eyes of another professional. As I have told every medical student on rotation with me, “You will learn from me how to practice medicine right, but you will also quietly learn how to practice medicine wrong, seeing things you will know you never want to repeat.” We are imperfect. When we are teaching medical students, we showcase our successes, but we relinquish any hope of hiding our professional flaws. You must make your own peace with that in order to teach. You must trust in the benevolence of students to see that you stepped up to the plate and volunteered to try to raise their medical skills.

    Medical students shadow and practice, practice and shadow. They come and go, usually for four short weeks within a family medicine rotation. But scribes come and stay; they are the ultimate shadows. Muted by the nature of their mission. Silent witness to the inner clinical sanctum. We take them on to share the exhausting intensity of our trusting patients with their challenging mortal illnesses and aging. A bond develops with your scribe, often unspoken, yet undeniably strong.

  • New Braunfels family physician receives TMA’s Young at Heart Award

    Tags: Emily briggs, TMA Young at heart award, TAFP, Texas Academy of Family Physicians, new braunfels, young physician section

    New Braunfels family physician Emily D. Briggs, MD, MPH is the 2021 Texas Medical Association Young at Heart Award recipient. Doctors from the TMA  Young Physician Section announced the award during TexMed, TMA’s annual meeting, held virtually.  

    The YPS, a group of TMA physicians under age 40 or in their first eight years of medical practice, chose Briggs for her dedication to engaging medical students, resident physicians, fellows, and young physicians in organized medicine.

    “I have never been so pleasantly acknowledged — and by a wonderful group of future leaders,” said Briggs, a TMA member for 17 years. 

  • Awarding grants in the Heart of Texas

    Tags: chapter grant program, heart of texas chapter, TAFP, travis county chapter, Karen Smith, Katharina Hathaway, Jean Klewitz, Texas Academy of Family physicians

    By Jean Klewitz

    The TAFP Heart of Texas Chapter started a chapter grant program in early 2020. Supported by family physicians, the grant program fuels local community work. Applicants to the grant program are chapter members supporting the local community or member-nominated community groups within the Heart of Texas’ 12 counties.

    Leaders of the chapter, Karen Smith, MD, chair, and Katharina Hathaway, MD, vice chair, met while doing some nonprofit work together through the Manor Community Wellness Alliance. Smith was working with others to start the Manor Free Clinic. Their meeting in humanitarian work helped fuel philanthropic community work within their chapter.

  • President's Letter

    Tags: president's letter, amer shakil, family fun fest, TAFP, Texas Academy of Family Physicians

    Keeping up the fight for family medicine through the pandemic

    By Amer Shakil, MD, MBA
    TAFP President

    Greetings members. What a strange year and a half its been for all of us. As life is slowly and cautiously beginning to return to something akin to normal, we should take a moment to acknowledge the struggles and the achievements we have experienced, both individually and as a specialty. Over these several months, the resilience of family physicians, our physician colleagues, other health care providers, and aides of all sorts has been nothing short of amazing.

    I have also marveled at the resilience of our Academy. In February of 2020, it seemed unimaginable that we would cancel April’s C. Frank Webber Lectureship and Interim Session. And then it became obvious that we couldn’t possibly hold the meeting. The Academy would go on to learn to produce virtual conferences, and that’s how we would conduct business for the rest of the year.

  • Attention residents and students: Attend AAFP’s National Conference virtually

    Tags: national conference, resident, student, funding, 2021

    Once a year, family medicine residents and medical students come together to engage in real talk about family medicine with family medicine leaders, educators, and recruiters at the National Conference of Family Medicine Residents and Medical Students. This year, National Conference is virtual. From July 29-31 you can attend online workshops and main stage speaker sessions. The popular Expo Hall will be broken into sections so you can find the residency programs by state and exhibitors you are most interested in. You can schedule one-on-one appointments with residency programs, recruiters, and other exhibitors. You can also network with fellow attendees.

    Because it is virtual this year, the price tag to attend is much lower and there are more opportunities for financial assistance if you act fast.

    TAFP Foundation funding
    The TAFP Foundation is increasing the number of funding slots to help 300 Texas medical students and residents attend national conference. The application will stay open until July 25 or all the funding slots are taken.

  • TAFP residents and students elect their 2021-2022 officers

    Tags: resident, student, officers, 2021

    TAFP has a new governance structure, and the Section on Medical Students and Section on Resident Physicians no longer exist. In their place, a TAFP Resident and Student Leader Forum meets virtually throughout the year and a Residency Network with representatives from all programs and an FMIG Network with representatives from all medical schools meets a few times a year.

    The student and resident board members serve as co-chairs at the forum that include the chair, chair-elect, National Conference representatives, Member Assembly representatives, members serving on the new councils, resident and student advisors to the TAFP Foundation, the FMIG coordinator, and the resident advisors. There will also be an active member in attendance serving as the TAFP Board Liaison.

    Monthly meetings during the academic year allow members to share information, plan live educational meetings, and carry out other projects.

  • Beat the Heat (And the Anxiety it May Bring)

    Tags: anticipate joy, counseling, member service, anxiety, TAFP Texas Academy of Family Physicians

    By Anticipate Joy

    The sun is out, the school year is drawing to a close, and Texas is embarking upon absolutely balmy 100+ degree weather. Summer is officially here.

    While the summer season is always depicted as a chance to relax and unwind, it can be a very stressful time. Trying to plan vacations, enduring an influx of clients rushing to get appointments before school starts back up in August, and missing out on time with loved ones who might be home while you’re at work can all be stressors impacting your mental health. Combine that with all the challenges this year has brought with the pandemic — specifically impacting your industry so greatly — can lead to a great deal of built-up anxiety going into the summer months.