Tuesday, August 23, 2011

The Hidden Power of Health Fairs

There is nothing like a good community health fair (HF). Away from the formal, detached sterility of the office this is an opportunity to meet patients on their turf. No longer adorned with white coat, power outfit and accompanying entourage, physician meets patient as just another member of the community, an equal almost. With a backdrop of blaring music, sweltering heat and flavorful eats people young and old gather, eager to commune in the name of health. Meeting in this context fosters rapprochement between patient and doctor. The once hierarchical encounter is no more. In this habitat, doctor and patient are in fellowship.
I enjoy health  fairs because they provide the perfect merger of public health and medicine. At one instant I am advising a patient on her individual health needs; in another instant I am addressing a group  on health topic salient to the community. At health fairs doctors, nurses, community organizers, nutritionists, peer educators, farmers, pastors, teachers work in tandem for the community's improved health. At these events I see my work as integrally woven into the fabric of the community's identity and goals and there are few things more powerful than the feeling of contributing to a much larger whole.

Friday, August 5, 2011

The (FM) Revolution Will be Tweeted!

If you're in medicine and on twitter and haven't come across the #FMRevolution hashtag, you must be, like the Geico commercial says, living under a rock. Since March 2011, Family Medicine has been taking the twitterverse by storm. What first started as the "Family Medicine T-shirt Revolution" at a California Family Medicine summit in 2010 has now turned into a fulfledged campaign to debunk misconceptions about the specialty, dispel misgivings about pursuing the field and to advocate for primary care as a cost-effective specialty with proven results in improving health outcomes . The revolution has been rallying physicians, residents and students nationwide to the cause.