December 28, 2017
To whom it may concern,
Please find enclosed the remittance slip for my 2018 AAFP dues.
It is after much thought and with great hesitation that I submit my renewal. While I want to stand, with my fellow family physicians, in a united front with a united voice, the value of AAFP membership is somewhat lost to me as a new physician/small business owner in a solo practice.
Speaking with my peers, it seems that the greatest value members derive from the AAFP is CME. Having just started the CME game, I haven’t seen the AAFP’s value from this angle (yet).
That said, having worked with the AAFP briefly during a rotation in residency (with Kevin Kovach in Population Health Management when in 2014), I know there is far more going on with organization on a national and programming level. Even knowing that, it’s hard to see the value in sending $445 to the organization. When taken in sum with the state chapter fee, the $765 fee is 1.9% of my income this year. It’s about the price of few pieces of new technology my clinic desperately needs. It’s the entire monthly paycheck for my part-time phlebotomist. It’s the amount of money I spend providing at-cost labs for about 50 of my patients. It’s a lot.
While writing this, I’m questioning (again) why I’m sending in my dues. If given the choice, I would only pay remittance fees to the Kansas chapter — I feel that the biggest impact is sometimes made on the local level, and I have had the opportunity to personally benefit from my membership with the KAFP through student mentorship and state-level advocacy. It is for this reason alone that you are receiving my renewal. It is very likely that next year I’ll not be renewing, even though it means losing my Kansas membership as well.
I would love to see the option to be a member of just AAFP, just KAFP, or — better yet — adjust the bloated dues to better reflect the budget of a small, startup independent practice. In an era of increasing burnout we, the independent physicians, are your brightest hope for family medicine in the future. But we can’t feel like we’re being taken advantage of by you; corporate medicine and insurers are doing that well enough. We need any ally and a strong voice for family medicine.
It’s with hope for the future and the ability of the AAFP to lead us that I remit these dues.
Allison Edwards, MD