I am excited to begin my tenure as President of UAFP. We are, first and foremost, a member organization, so our priority is to serve YOU. Please lend us your voice on committees or even just through a phone call or email to tell us what motivates you as a family physician. In Daniel Pink’s book Drive, he sets a framework for motivation based on three key factors: autonomy, mastery and purpose.
As physician burnout reaches an all-time high, while many of us lose autonomy, as more and more of us become employed — remember to think creatively. We have a wide variety of practice styles within our academy and a network of physicians who can give you ideas for your practice. You can meet them at UAFP events! We have clinics and hospital systems embracing value-based care to get you off the RVU hamster wheel. Physicians are piloting generative AI to respond to messages and write your notes for you. Telemedicine has allowed for work-from-home opportunities. Utilize your peers in UAFP to innovate and bring back your autonomy.
Continuous improvement and learning are essential to mastery as family physicians, and UAFP is devoted to providing opportunities for this. We are excited to offer our 8th Annual CME & Ski Conference in February. This conference attracts physicians and APCs from around the country, so you have the chance to learn, ski and network in one location — beautiful Park City, Utah. Also, you can always find other education opportunities and practice-related information on our website. Watch your inbox for the Beat email newsletter twice a month on Mondays (check your junk folder and/or let us know if you aren’t getting these) to keep you up to date on UAFP events as well as other local CME opportunities, AAFP news and events, and healthcare news. Through involvement with UAFP, you can improve your own skills and practice as you strive toward mastery.
Sometimes it feels as if our job is to document for lawyers, fill out forms for insurance companies and ensure profit for administrators. This can contribute to moral injury and lead to a loss of purpose. Many family physicians, when asked, will state their purpose in their work is to “take care of patients.” A way to foster this sense of purpose is to volunteer and use your skills to benefit local nonprofits such as our UAFP Foundation, which continues to work toward increasing interest in family medicine by supporting educational activities to engage prospective family medicine students, actively address physician pipeline issues and encourage entrance by medical personnel into primary care. It can be refreshing to see the spark in the eyes of a medical student as they talk about why they want to pursue family medicine which can help reignite your own sense of purpose. If working with students is not for you, you could also help at clinics such as the Maliheh Free Clinic (Dr. David Miner, a UAFP Board Member, has served as Medical Director since 2005). Family physicians are uniquely capable of providing quality care to underserved populations. I feel like hospital administration when I ask you to volunteer time to address your burnout, but this is not a resiliency module that you are required to complete. While it may seem counterintuitive to volunteer more of your time, it is just one way that you can help renew your sense of purpose.
I am hopeful that we can continue to serve the needs of YOU, the family physicians of Utah. Through connectivity with other family physicians who not only share in your moral injury but also experience the joys of patient care, UAFP hopes to help you find your motivation for your work. Our diverse physicians and practices can share innovation for autonomy, provide us the opportunity to learn from each other as we aim for mastery and revitalize purpose through philanthropy. Please do not hesitate to reach out to us and thank YOU for being a member of the Utah Academy of Family Physicians.