News & Announcements
This Flu Season is Less Severe than the Last
Based on the first-ever in-season flu data released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the current flu season appears to be much milder than in 2017-2018. The reason? A more effective flu vaccine this year (47%) than last (40%) and the type of virus that is predominately circulating (H1N1 this year versus H3N2 last year). That’s not to say that this year’s flu strain is any less of a health threat. The CDC estimates that, from October 1, 2018, through March 16, 2019, there have been 28.5 million-32.8 million flu illnesses, 13.2 million-15.4 million flu medical visits, 375,000-454,000 flu hospitalizations, and 25,000-41,500 flu deaths. Flu activity is currently widespread in Michigan.
Health Can't Wait
Getting advance approval from health plans for treatments, tests, medications, and devices is frustrating for physicians as they work with their patients to prevent, diagnose, and manage acute and chronic conditions. It’s equally trying for their staff, many of whom are hired with the sole purpose of submitting, tracking, and following up on—often multiple times over—approval requests. The real looser in this waiting game that’s known as prior authorization, however, is the patient. MAFP is optimistic that the new Health Can’t Wait campaign launching this spring will compel Michigan lawmakers and payers to take action. The initiative, spearheaded by Michigan State Medical Society in partnership with MAFP and a coalition of other associations, healthcare professionals, and patients, calls for putting patients first in addressing the prior authorization crisis.
How Healthy is Your Community?
Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s annual County Health Rankings report shows how where we live, learn, work, and play impacts our health. As a Family Physician, you witness every day the variety of factors that influence your patients’ health. Now in its ninth year, the annual national, state, and county-by-county analysis, conducted by RWJF in collaboration with University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute, explores the interplay between health behaviors, clinical care, social and economic factors, and the physical environment and how long and how well we live. Learn how your county ranks in comparison to Michigan's other 82 counties and what is needed to move the needle on achieving health equity for all residents.
As the mother of two teenage girls, Anne Kittendorf MD, FAAFP (Dexter) understands the challenges of juggling family needs and work demands. An academic Family Physician who cares for newborns through geriatric patients, and a teacher of medical students and residents at the University of Michigan, Dr. Kittendorf has found Family Medicine to be a fantastic career for women because of its variety of practice locations and types, and its flexibility in meeting ever-evolving personal needs and interests
How Happy Are You in Your Career?
Despite increasing reports of physician burnout and administrative burden, a new CompHealth survey commissioned by American Academy of Family Physicians shows that practicing medicine continues to be a rewarding career for many. Of the 5,000 practicing physicians surveyed, 71% reported being happy with their careers and 59% said they are happy with their lives in general.
Despite the odds against her, Tina Tanner, MD, FAAFP (Montague) was among the women graduates of Michigan State University College of Human Medicine's medical school class of 1997—the first class in the history of the medical school to be 50% female. Since then, she has practiced full-spectrum Family Medicine in many different settings and served the Academy in a variety of leadership roles, most notably elevating MAFP's advocacy work on behalf of patients and her fellow and future Family Physicians.
At 12 pm on March 15, thousands of graduating medical school seniors eagerly, in unison, and undoubtedly with a flutter of apprehension and tremendous excitement opened their Match Day envelopes during medical school celebrations to learn which residency program will be their training ground beginning in July. This year’s Match was the largest on record, with fewer allopathic but more osteopathic students matching to Family Medicine than in 2018.
As the 2019-2020 Michigan Legislature settles in, the House and Senate Health Policy Committees are beginning to hear testimony and vote on some of the first bills to be introduced this year. Among them are bills that call for prohibiting minor's use of e-cigarettes and other vapor products, creating a universal credentialing process for Medicaid managed care providers, and exempting the prescribing of controlled substances for hospice patients from the bona fide patient-prescriber relationship requirement.
Measles Case Confirmed in Oakland County
State health officials have confirmed a travel-related case of measles with potential exposure at several locations in Oak Park and Southfield from March 6 through March 13. Additional sites of potential exposure may be identified as more information becomes available.
Women in (Michigan) Family Medicine
Women have contributed significantly to the practice of medicine throughout our country’s history, dating back 170 years to when Elizabeth Blackwell became the first female to receive a medical degree from a U.S. medical school. Inspired by a dying friend who said her ordeal would have been better if she had a female physician, Dr. Blackwell later opened the New York Infirmary for Women and Children to provide access to primary and preventive care for the underserved. This also paved the way for generations of women in medicine—among them is Srikala Yedavally-Yellayi, DO, MEd, Family Physician, Family Medicine educator, and advocate.