2014: Year of the Family Physician (Part XIX)

Once-in-a-lifetime opportunities are rarely once in a lifetime.  And the events we initially thought were the most important or dire tend to blend into the background as we experience more of life.  On February 4th, Kelly Conniff, Special Projects Editor at Time Magazine, tweeted “I need your favorite Twitter accounts, please.”  I will sidestep educing her motive for now and focus on this Tweet’s potential as a nidus for shaping history.

We have witnessed the collective power of people uniting to direct history rather than just to witness it.  Think of the NASA engineers who were able to put man on the moon.  The people of the former East Germany made a clear statement that a wall was not defining their future.   These are examples and lessons of the restless human spirit that believes in a better tomorrow and is willing to commit to that ideal today with persistence.

Look ahead to December when Time announces its selection for Person of the Year.  Either suspend or embolden your belief for a moment and imagine the family physician is this year’s honoree.  Will you wonder in amazement of how it happened?  Or, will you be filled with a deep satisfaction that your efforts, your voice, and your passion crafted history?  Will you be able to nudge the person picking up the Person of the Year issue at the newsstand and say that you were responsible?

Perhaps, Kelly Conniff sent out the Tweet looking for story leads or to gauge the interests of people who are active on Twitter.  Tweet her @kellyconniff and let her know which of your favorite accounts tells the story of #2014yearfp.  Reciprocate her invitation by inviting her into your world of family medicine.  Show her that our activity on social media is not based on fads, trends, or monetizing interactions.  Share our history of comprehensive care that is practiced in all parts of the country.  History is calling us.  How will you answer?

Author: Ronald Fong, MD, MPH

Dr. Fong's opinions are his own and do not represent UC Davis. He can be reached at ronald.fong@ucdmc.ucdavis.edu.

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