Pub. 7 2023 Issue 1

Executive Director’s Message – 75 Years Young

Tempus fugit. Time certainly flies when you are part of an organization working to improve the lives of family physicians and their patients. This year, we celebrate our 75th year and we couldn’t be prouder of all the accomplishments we’ve seen throughout those many years.

Shortly after WWII, Salt Lake physicians Dr. L.E. Robinson and Chas W. Woodruff founded the Utah State Society of Physicians and Surgeons in General Practice — quite the mouthful — USSPSGP, perhaps? In 1948, the board voted to separate from the surgeons and became the Utah chapter of the newly formed American Academy of General Practice (AAGP), joining 31 other state chapters.

AAGP got down to business quickly, holding their first Scientific Assembly in March of 1948 with 3,500 family physicians in attendance. Later that summer, the first Congress of Delegates was held with 26 chapters participating. While we don’t have any records to prove our participation, as Utahns, we are collaborative and community-oriented so it is highly likely we were early participants.

In 1969, American Boards approved family medicine as a new specialty. In 1970, the first certification exam was offered. And in 1971, AAGP changed its name to the American Academy of Family Physicians.

Since then, family medicine has paved the way for many healthcare and practice improvements. Family physicians are often the first line of care and, as such, are in a unique position to identify needs and gaps early, with a goal of continual improvement and advancement.

Just as we represent Utah family physicians in advocacy and proactive healthcare efforts, AAFP works at the federal level, often on many of the same issues and needs from CME requirements, recruitment programs, and grant opportunities to advocacy for the ACA and Medicaid expansion, recruitment programs, loan repayment funding, and other opportunities for students and residents. A lot of change has happened over the last 75 years, but one constant remains: the dedication of UAFP and AAFP to furthering the practice of family medicine.

Today, we honor all those who came before — the pioneers who recognized the value of organizing and meeting to further the work and raise the profile of family medicine — and we share your commitment for the next 75 years.

1948 at a Glance

  • Earl J. Glade was mayor of Salt Lake City.
  • Herbert B. Maw was the Utah State Governor.
  • President Harry S. Truman was re-elected United States President.
  • Geneva Steel and Hill Air Force Base were the two largest employers in the state.
  • 1948 started with a statewide blizzard that lasted for three straight days with snowdrifts as high as 10 feet in some areas, record low temperatures, closed schools, halted mail service and garbage pickup, and caused numerous deaths and injuries, including livestock that froze or starved to death.
  • Salt Lake Community College, then called The Salt Lake Area Vocational School, opened its doors in downtown Salt Lake City.
  • A new home averaged $7,700 and a new car was $800.
  • The average annual salary was $3,000.
  • Gas was 16¢ a gallon, a loaf of bread 14¢, and a gallon of milk was 80¢.
  • Cleveland beat Boston in the World Series 4–2.
  • U.S. Congress ratified the Marshall Plan, approving $17 billion in post-WWII aid to Europe.
  • Citation won the triple crown.
  • Velcro was invented and the game of Scrabble was introduced.
  • The World Health Organization was formed by the United Nations.
  • Mahatma Gandhi was assassinated in India.
  • The State of Israel was created and admitted over 200,000 war refugees.
  • Summer Olympics were held in London.
  • The Universal Declaration of Human Rights was adopted by the UN General Assembly.