Member of the Month: Emily Briggs, M.D., M.P.H.
Full scope doc representing new physicians in Texas and nationally
After finishing a residency at CHRISTUS Santa Rosa, Dr. Emily Briggs set up camp and her own private practice in New Braunfels, Texas. It is now five years later and her full scope practice, which also specializies in full scope obstetrics, is thriving enough that in 2012 she hired a second physician. Briggs lives in New Braunfels with her two daughters and husband, who also works as the clinic’s office manager.
Briggs was recently elected as the new physician member for not only the TAFP Board of Directors, but also for the AAFP Board. She hopes to add a young outlook to both boards by representing other physicians who have been out of residency for less than seven years.
Why did you choose family medicine?
Because I like to do everything and I want to provide comprehensive care to my patients. I enjoyed every rotation when I was going through med school. When I did surgery I thought, “Yes! I’m going to be a surgeon!” Then I went on to internal medicine and I was rounding on patients in the hospital and thought, “man this is awesome!” I got to see the really sick ICU patients and the diabetic that was uncontrolled. I was dead set on being an internist. Then I did OB and thought, “No! This is what I’m going to do.” So every rotation I did, I was ready to practice that, so I figured at the end I would just do all of it.
What is your favorite aspect of family medicine?
Comprehensive care. I like taking care of the entire family and also everything about one patient.
Why is it important to be a TAFP member?
Advocacy. That is the most important part. Being able to tell my patients one thing and then be able to tell them what TAFP is talking about. The struggles they are having with the ACA and wondering why Medicare won’t cover certain things. I can tell them, I’m working on that, or my organization is working on that, and we are trying to make your life easier and better.
What do you hope to accomplish being on the TAFP and AAFP Boards?
My goal of doing it is to be able to bring a full scope, new physician perspective to the Board. In Texas that’s not as pertinent because we have other full scope physicians there and we have younger members of the Board. The new physician aspect is not as needed as the full scope aspect. We just need to make sure that more established physicians realize those of us recently out of residency really are interested in providing that comprehensive care and doing all of that hard work and earning our place in the full scope position.
That goal is even stronger for AAFP. The Board of AAFP is mostly older gentleman and a couple of ladies, and they are probably not thinking of what the first seven years of practice were like when they’re determining policy and really trying to make the Academy speak for its members. So that is my sole purpose of being on the Board nationally, that I bring the young perspective. Being a small town, full scope family doc definitely brings a different perspective than a lot of the board members.
How do you spend your free time?
I don’t have a lot of free time.
How would you LIKE to be spending your free time?
I do all this stuff with TAFP and AAFP, I’m also the medical director for the two ISDs in town, I am the president-elect of the local chapter of TMA, and I am the local president of our Alamo chapter of TAFP. There are a lot of things I do right now. I also sing in my church choir and play the drums and the piano. I’m a crafty person. I really love when my daughters have a school craft. I made my daughter Jane into Abe Lincoln two years ago. I love that kind of stuff.
Tell us something unrelated to medicine about you.
My parents are Mr. and Mrs. Claus. My dad is Santa every Christmas. He was the San Antonio Riverwalk Santa for the last few years. He always (year-round) wears red or green shirts with candy cane suspenders.
TAFP’s Member of the Month program highlights Texas family physicians in TAFP News Now and on the TAFP website. We feature a biography and a Q&A with a different TAFP member each month and his or her unique approach to family medicine. If you know an outstanding family physician colleague who you think should be featured as a Member of the Month or if you’d like to tell your own story, nominate yourself or your colleague by contacting TAFP by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at (512) 329-8666. View past Members of the Month here.