In January 2008, the four academic family medicine organizations officially launched the Council of Academic Family Medicine as a new way of working together, coordinating activities where there is overlap, and acting upon strategic initiatives that support academic family medicine and the discipline.
Goals of CAFM
- Provide a unified voice for academic family medicine
- Provide a structure for working together more effectively
- Provide a place for outside organizations to come to collaborate
- While providing a unified voice for the discipline, CAFM preserves distinctive voices of current constituencies
- CAFM’s leadership structure respects the unique governance of each organization while providing ongoing and active opportunities to take action on issues of common priority and interest.
- CAFM collaborates to perform environmental scans and to prioritize issues that would benefit from each organization’s unique contributions.
- CAFM seeks to tackle significant issues confronting academic family medicine and the discipline
How Does CAFM Work?
CAFM consists of the leadership of the Association of Departments of Family Medicine, the Association of Family Medicine Residency Directors, the North American Primary Care Research Group and the Society of Teachers of Family Medicine (generally, the President, President-elect, Past President, and Executive Director). Whereas individual organizations are the foundation of CAFM, our common commitment is that each of us brings to CAFM a focus on the common good of academic family medicine. CAFM works most effectively on issues of consensus and common priority by engaging the resources and members of each organization to address strategic activities and projects. CAFM also partners with the American Academy of Family Physicians and the American Board of Family Medicine to address issues important to the discipline and the stakeholders of academic family medicine. To enable this partnering, the AAFP and ABFM each have an appointed liaison to CAFM. CAFM holds two face-to-face meetings annually for all CAFM leaders and the AAFP and ABFM liaisons. These meetings are held in conjunction with the family medicine Working Party (WP) meetings where the leadership from seven family medicine organizations comes together. Monthly CAFM calls are held in between the two in-person meetings.
What Does CAFM Do?
CAFM is designed as a task-oriented group that engages in projects representing strategic academic family medicine initiatives. Each year in January, CAFM prioritizes areas of emphasis and defines projects for the coming year. In preparation for that meeting, each CAFM organization solicits input from their respective leadership so as to inform CAFM’s selection of focal areas. Typically, more than one organization is involved in each project, and projects often draw upon leadership and members of organizations outside of CAFM.
In addition to these initiatives prioritized annually, CAFM responds to time-sensitive issues where a unified voice is warranted.
Current CAFM Chair:
Jeri Hepworth, PhD
Department of Family Medicine
University of Connecticut St Francis Hospital Family Medicine Residency