WICHITA, KANSAS –The Kansas Academy of Family Physicians (KAFP) announces nine nominee finalists for 2017 Kansas Family Physician of the Year. Each nominee was required to write about what being a family doctor means to them. Below are the nominees and an excerpt from their description of what being a family doctor means to them:
Amy Cunningham, DO (Neodesha, KS): “Family medicine is more than job, it’s also an identity, a lifestyle, and a mission, especially in a rural setting.”
Elaine Ferguson, DO (Salina, KS): “There is so much good to say about family medicine and what it has meant to me. There is a give and take from each patient encounter. I have given lots but my patients have given me more. They have truly made me a better person with an inner peace and joy for life!”
Lynn Fisher, MD, FAAFP (Plainville, KS): “So what does family medicine mean to me? Healer. Leader. Mentor. Educator. Advocate. It is the job that I am lucky enough to eat and breathe every day that I go to work. It is the calling I answered 20 years ago as I started my journey. It is what will shape me into a better physician and better person for hopefully the next 20 years. Family Medicine not only changes our patient’s stories, but it ultimately changes us as providers as well.”
Robert Freelove, MD, FAAFP (Salina, KS): “Family physicians are teachers, advocates, and leaders; and in those roles have the opportunity to further influence the health of not just individuals, but entire communities and populations. Family physicians are the catalyst for changes in medicine that put patients’ needs first, realigning the delivery of health care to make it more effective and affordable. While all of this seems like an enormous undertaking and responsibility, it can be boiled down to one simple statement: family physicians can make a difference in the lives of people on a scale no other physician can. That is the very essence of what being a family physician means to me, and there is nothing else I would rather be.”
Charles Green, MD, FAAFP (Andover, KS): “In my opinion, the essence of life can be summed up in one word— relationships. I also firmly believe that relationships are the essence of a career in family medicine, and it is through these relationships that I find meaning and significance in being a family physician.”
Brian Holmes, MD (Abilene, KS): “I practice in my hometown. I love Abilene and when it came time to decide on where to practice I couldn’t think of a better town or a better way to give back to a community that gave me such a great upbringing than to be a family physician there. In a small town, our patients are our friends, church members, kids, parents, and business partners. I have loved being a family physician.”
Drew Miller, MD (Lakin, KS): “I have come to realize that being a family doctor carries more responsibility and more reward that I ever could have realized. As a family doctor, I am a family's obstetrician, pediatrician, internist, geriatrician. It means that I get to practice ‘hands on’ medicine, from delivering babies to performing endoscopy to performing minor surgeries and procedures. Being a family medicine doctor in a small community means that these families are my friends, my children’s teachers, my pastor, and my co-workers. It also means being ready for medical questions almost anywhere, from the clinic to the post office to the grocery store to the church.
Jerry Niernberger, DO, FAAFP (Wichita, KS): “What it means to be a family doc is that I get to support, nurture, and care for my ‘family members’ around the clock. I have had this privilege for 31 years. And in that time I have shared laughter, grief, sadness and many tears.”
George Wright, MD, FAAFP (Topeka, KS): “The most important and cherished part of my career has been the special relationship I have had with my patients. I have witnessed the highs and lows of life with families. I’ve been present at the beginning and end of life. I’ve guided them as they have made health care decisions for themselves and their families. My service in the Army gave me the opportunity to serve some of the most selfless and heroic families I’ve ever known.”
Each nominee is evaluated based on the following criteria:
• Provides his/her patients with compassionate, comprehensive, and caring family medicine on a continuing basis.
• Enhances the quality of his/her community by being directly and effectively involved in community affairs and activities.
• Acts as a credible role model professionally and personally to his/her community, to other health professionals, and residents and medical students.
• Stands out among his/her colleagues.
Nominees must be KAFP members in good standing, licensed to practice in Kansas, and actively practicing family medicine at least half time. Patients, colleagues and members of the community submitted nominations. This is one of the highest honors that a family physician can achieve.
The winner will be announced in the Spring Kansas Family Physician in April. The recipient will be honored at the KAFP Annual Meeting in Wichita, Kan. on June 9, 2017 during the President’s Dinner & Installation. The winner will be nominated for the American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP) Family Physician of the Year award.
About the KAFP
The Kansas Academy of Family Physicians is the largest medical specialty society in the state, with a total of 1,630 members. The mission of the Kansas Academy of Family Physicians is to promote access to, and excellence in, health care for all Kansans through education and advocacy for family physicians and their patients. The KAFP is affiliated with the American Academy of Family Physicians, the national association for family physicians. For more information about the KAFP visit the KAFP Web site at www.kafponline.org. More information about the awards, including past recipients can be found at http://www.kafponline.org/Members/Awards/FamilyPhysicianoftheYear/