Lead and Advocate for Family Medicine

Minnesota Academy of Family Physicians President’s Message

This message originally appeared in the spring 2023 edition of the Minnesota Family Physician magazine.

As I near the end of my term as President, I have reflected on why I have stayed active in the Minnesota Academy of Family Physicians (MAFP): leadership and advocacy.


I believe family physicians are the cornerstone of primary care and that the MAFP and American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP) have been strong advocates for our profession and in helping family physicians develop as leaders. While the education we have received to be family physicians has been extensive, it often does not include formal leadership development.

It is imperative that family physicians take on leadership roles within health care, and both the MAFP and AAFP have played important roles in helping me improve my comfort as a leader.


Though primary care is the foundation of any future in which health care is high quality and cost effective, family physicians are undervalued in the larger health care framework. Our voices are needed at the local, state and national level to highlight the benefits we provide to our patients, our communities and the larger health care landscape.

We need to advocate for:

  • Exposure to family medicine in medical school.
  • Financial support for more family medicine residency slots.
  • The ability to perform our full scope of practice in different clinical settings.
  • Equitable reimbursement for the care we provide.

If we don’t participate in shaping health care systems or policy, our specialty will likely be an afterthought, our skills disregarded and our voices unheard.

Knowing that your days are full with professional and personal responsibilities, the idea of taking on another task may seem daunting. So, I will simply ask that in whatever way you can and with the time and capacity you feel you have, lead and advocate for our profession.

  • If your capacity is limited, consider simply sharing your stories, like emailing an elected official about what eliminating prior authorizations would mean to your daily work or volunteering to testify at a state hearing about the importance of rural family physicians.
  • If your capacity is greater, consider teaching a new skill to other physicians, joining a credentialing committee at work, mentoring a medical student or asking how you can serve in a leadership
    role at the MAFP.

Your participation will help elevate our specialty.

The problems we face in health care at times feel insurmountable. The dedicated MAFP members I have met—particularly the amazing students and residents in our chapter, the passion they bring to their clinical work and their willingness to step up and lead—give me hope for the future of family medicine.

Alex Vosooney, MD
President, Minnesota Academy of Family Physicians

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s