American Academy of Family Physicians


About the Organization:

The American Academy of Family Physicians is the national association of family doctors. It is one of the largest national medical organizations, with more than 93,100 members in 50 states, D.C., Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, and Guam. Until October 3, 1971, it was known as the American Academy of General Practice. The name was changed in order to reflect more accurately the changing nature of primary health care.

The Academy was founded in 1947 to promote and maintain high quality standards for family doctors who are providing continuing comprehensive health care to the public. Other major purposes of the Academy include:
To provide responsible advocacy for and education of patients and the public in all health-related matters;
To preserve and promote quality cost-effective health care;
To promote the science and art of family medicine and to ensure an optimal supply of well-trained family physicians;
To promote and maintain high standards among physicians who practice family medicine;
To preserve the right of family physicians to engage in medical and surgical procedures for which they are qualified by training and experience;
To provide advocacy, representation and leadership for the specialty of family practice;
To maintain and provide an organization with high standards to fulfill the above purposes and to represent the needs of its members.

Realizing that the family doctor’s effectiveness depends on sound, up-to-date continuing education, the founders wrote into the Bylaws the requirement that members in the Active membership category must complete a minimum of 150 hours of approved continuing education every three years to retain membership.

The Academy maintains a national headquarters in Leawood, Kansas. It publishes a clinical journal for physicians in primary care entitled American Family Physician, with a circulation of 156,000; a monthly all-member news and features publication entitled FP Report and a publication on practice management and socioeconomic issues entitled Family Practice Management.

Contact Info:

Resources on Aging and Physical Activity:

The Active Aging Toolkit: Promoting Physical Activity in Older Adults for Healthcare Providers
The Active Aging Toolkit has been developed as a collaborate effort of the Blueprint, professional organizations, and private industry as an evidence-based and an easy-to-instruct program for healthcare providers to educate their patients on increasing phjysical activity.

Counseling for Physical Activity in Overweight and Obese Patients
American Family Physician Journal article describes the elements of effective counseling for physical activity and presents guidelines for developing physical activity programs for overweight and obese patients.

Physical Activity for Healthy Weight
This patient information handout describes the role of physical activity in maintaining a healthy weight.

Exercise for the Elderly
A handout for elderly patients on starting to exercise and selecting different types of physical activities.

Exercise: How to Get Started
Information sheet for patients on how to start an exercise program.

Promoting and Prescribing Exercise for the Elderly
American Family Physician Journal article includes benefits of exercise, prepreparation screening and the exercise prescription.

Diabetes and Exercise
Information sheet with exercise checklist.

Exercise: A Healthy Habit to Start and Keep
Information on how to get started in an exercise program and descriptions of target heart rate, weight-bearing exercise, and other fitness terms.