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Why I Skipped My Medical Society Meeting For A Blog Conference

I have a lot of friends in Boston this week who are attending the annual meeting for the American Academy of Family Physicians (ie – Congress of Delegates or AAFP CoD). And, they may not be too happy with what they read in this post, but here goes.

As some of you know, I’m scheduled to present at BlogWorld Expo (BWE) later this week in Las Vegas. I’m going to be moderating a panel about how patient privacy and the HIPPA law can impact blogging, podcasting, and interacting with social networking.

When I was offered the moderating spot, I did think to myself, “You know, this is the same week that the AAFP national meeting will be taking place in Boston.” I haven’t seen many of my AAFP friends and colleagues for a while now. Through the summer, I’ve gotten a lot of messages through Facebook asking whether I was going to attend the Boston meeting this year.

After thinking about it for a while, I decided that I would rather go to BlogWorld Expo than AAFP. There are a couple of reasons for this. First, I believe that this is an important point for social networking (like twitter, facebook, etc) and medicine. This year will be the first year that there will be a “Medblogger Track” of programming at the BlogWorld conference. It was nice to be asked to be a part of the first type of gathering like this at a primarily tech-centered meeting.

Secondly, I’m probably not the first to say that I’m feeling a little frustrated with organized medicine right now – whether it be AAFP, or AMA, or AHA, or other national medical organizations. I’m a guy in small town NE Ohio who’s trying to make the best of it in these economic times and “sociomedicolegal” environment. My patients, my community, and my colleagues are just frustrated. And, all I’m seeing organized medicine do is just play the same “inside the Washington beltway politics” that I’ve seen for years when I attended the AAFP annual meetings.

So, to all my friends in Boston, I hope you have a good time this week and I hope AAFP reveals some plans on how to advocate better for the fundamentals and ideals of Family Medicine. I hope to return to the AAFP annual meeting soon in the future, when I feel my voice can again make a difference for organized medicine. But for now, I’m just not feeling it is…

*This blog post was originally published at Doctor Anonymous*

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