The Value of Working with IAFP

Working with IAFP is the best route to impacting patient care through education, prevention and wellness. Family physicians are in the unique position to build relationships and trust with a patient, and even an entire family of patients. With this ongoing relationship, they can not only treat an acute problem, but work long‐term on improving chronic conditions, addressing gaps in prevention and wellness, and also recognize warning signs that may go unnoticed in other singular encounters with the health care system.

Health care is not online banking or booking travel. It takes the right questions, careful listening, and extra perception to truly provide patient‐centered and effective care. There aren’t checkboxes for all aspects of high quality care.

Families trust their family physician

Immunizations: We are helping to keep Illinois safe through our trusted relationships with families in discussing the importance and value of vaccines. This dedication to maximizing vaccination rates also helps with population immunity and protects everyone from vaccine preventable illnesses.

Facing pain and opioid addiction. Pain is one of the oldest challenges for medicine. Family physicians find themselves at the crux of the issue, balancing care of people who have chronic pain with the challenges of managing opioid misuse and abuse. Effective pain management and care of patients with substance use disorders require patient-centeredness and compassion, which are hallmarks of family medicine. Link to AAFP position paper

  • IAFP provides a Safe Prescriber program to give our members the tools to manage this delicate topic in their practices
  • IAFP is a leader with the Illinois Prescription Monitoring Program (ILPMP) to help ensure that everyone has access to vital information on prescriptions. This will help prevent patients from manipulating the system, violating the trust of physicians who care for them and obtaining surplus pain medication undetected.

Concussion management: Kids aren't going to the emergency room when they have a concussion, with parents opting to take them to the family doctor instead. A new study looked into where children first get care for a concussion. It found that many went to their family doctor first. Younger children and youths insured by Medicaid were more likely to go to the emergency room, according to the Journal of the American Medical Association, which published the study.
Researchers looked at 8,083 youths 17 and younger who had an initial visit for a concussion. Nearly 82 percent went to a primary care doctor first, while 11.7 percent went to the emergency room. The study concluded that primary care doctors must be trained in diagnosing and treating a concussion.

Behavioral Health Integration: Family medicine practices are innovators in sharing medical and behavioral health under the same roof with a team‐based care model. Primary care practices can play an increasingly important role in helping patients address their mental health issues by integrating mental and behavioral health care. Using this approach, primary care teams and behavioral health specialists work side‐ by‐side, sharing patient medical records, treatment plans and overall care management, together in one place. View examples here 

RELATIONSHIPS: These are actual quotes from Illinois patients about their family physician

Care across generations

  • In this age with families spread out, I think it is wonderful that three generations of our family are being cared for by a doctor like my family physician.
  • We have become a family affair with our daughter’s family and our son becoming his patients. Our grandchildren, now 24 and 21, have been treated by him for many years as well as our middle age children. He relates well to all ages, and we were particularly pleased with the camaraderie he shared with our grandson in the teenage years.

Seeing the whole patient, not a disease or organ

  • And in today’s fast paced world, it is so comforting to know that my family has such a kind, compassionate and deeply caring physician that takes the time to know you and understand every concern and question that you have. We are truly blessed to have a doctor that we can absolutely place our health care issues with and know that we are receiving the very best care available.
  • Most importantly Dr. S. has consistently treated me, my mother, my grandmother and my daughter with compassion and kindness. He understands that the health of one individual extends beyond the health condition of just that one person and impacts the entire family.

Caring through Coordination and Communication

  • You can well imagine the ups and downs we have faced with rehab, pharmaceutical decisions, therapy, and hospital visits. All of these are overwhelming, but the journey is easier with the available communication we share with our family physician.
  • We could travel the world over and never find a better family physician than Dr. P. He is the kind of a man you would choose for a friend with his intelligence, his sincere interest in your well‐being, his kind, friendly demeanor, and his dedication to his profession. He is a true blessing in our entire family’s lives.
  • She recognizes what her patients need. She has endless empathy and realizes sometimes patients don’t understand or get scared. I would love to say I’m her favorite, but I know she treats all her patients equally.
  • He has impacted my family in so many positive ways through his thoroughness as a physician, his taking a personal interest in our health and lives and above all has consistently treated our family with compassion and kindness providing care that goes beyond possessing technical skills.