Family Medicine Revolution: The Evolution

Our hashtag #FMRevolution (aka Family Medicine Revolution) was born in 2011.

At the time, my aims were two-fold:

“Become the physician you wrote about in your personal statement.”

That family physicians and other primary care providers realize we are better than what the status quo values us at and we need to ‘revolt’ against the currently fragmented health care delivery machine that exists right now (we’ve been great playing in the sandbox historically, but we must shift the health care system vector permanently away from fragmented, volume-based fee-for-service and toward integrated, value-based care);

“First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win.”

That the general public and the health care system at-large sees our anti-establishment health care reform movement and embraces it (though the overarching goals of #FMRevolution and #hcr are the same, ultimately, the American public trusts their doctors more than their government).

My question for you, dear friends, is: “Will you choose to sit on the sidelines or will you compete in the game?” This, of course, is a variation on the oft-repeated trope in organized medicine circles: “Either you’re at the table or you’re on the menu.”

Which leads me to a new third aim for #FMRevolution:

That we “Become the leaders our health care system and nations need us to be”.

Regaining control of our Family Medicine story is only the beginning. I’m proud to say that the #FMRevolution social media community has achieved a modicum of success by telling our own story in our own words. We must now be so bold to assume control of the Health Care story because #HealthIsPrimary and we must #MakeHealthPrimary. That will require us to be more than physicians. That will require us to be physician leaders. We must learn how to unleash our hidden (superpower) talents to manifest our destiny as the everyday superheroes our nations need us to be.

The spirit of wanting to make a difference is what drives me to be the family doc and physician leader I am today. This is what gives me joy in my work. I suspect this is what gives you joy too.

The opportunity and the challenge before us is how to recapture that joy in our everyday work as family docs in today’s complex, fragmented health care environment. It starts with tapping into our sense of purpose and mission.

Whenever you tweet, post an article or status update that is family medicine-oriented, proudly add #FMRevolution. Let’s bring medicine back to our patients and their communities. Vive la résistance!

Author: Jay Lee, MD, MPH

Jay W. Lee, MD, MPH, FAAFP, is Associate Medical Director of Practice Transformation at MemorialCare Medical Group and Assistant Program Director/Director of Health Policy at the Long Beach Memorial Family Medicine Residency Program. He is also Speaker on the California Academy of Family Physicians' Board of Directors.

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