Dr. Steve Furr’s Speech to the AAFP Congress of Delegates

It is time.

We can no longer afford to choose our elected leaders on the basis of a canned seven minute talk and the answers to questions that have been pulled from a cardboard box. We need hard scientific evidence to inform our decision. That’s why today, at this first in person meeting of the Congress of Delegates in three years, we are going to make history. With the help of the proprietary company 22 and You, of which I am the CEO and chief medical officer, we are going to release unbiased genetic data on the candidates for president elect so at least you can have an awareness of their genetic predispositions.

To make sure that we had an adequate sample size we are also going to include comparative information from some of our past and current leaders. Aware that this mountain of information might be overwhelming for some of you who labor under administrative burden, it should give you some comfort to know that I have sacrificially reviewed this data and will only release to you the impartial information that I think you need to know. That’s just an example of one of the reasons why our company is touted for its full transparency.

Dr. Andrew Carroll has a dominant passion gene. He has a passion for family medicine. It inhabits every cell of his body and exudes from every pore of his skin. If chosen, he will lead you well.

Data from two of our distinguished past presidents confirms the validity of our research. As we expected Dr. Gary LeRoy a.k.a. Marvel moon has a strong comic book hero gene.

Certainly no one was shocked to discover that the data shows that Dr. John Meigs has a dominant history gene. In the vernacular of his native Alabama, Dr. Meigs would be described as “ate up with history.”

For those of you who have wandered into the hotel gym very early in the morning you would realize that Dr. Ada Stewart has the running gene. Now AAFP Board members are well aware that Dr. Stewart is an accomplished cat whisperer. However, our research conclusively shows it is actually Dr. Tochi Iroku-Malize who possesses the coveted 9 lives gene. And it’s a good thing because at last count she is now down to seven lives.

The most exciting discovery from our data is a gene that heretofor has not been described. It modulates the neurochemical impulses from the brain to the torso and extremities in response to rhythmic sounds such as music. It allows the body to move in a coordinated and pleasing manner. The lack of this gene can lead to body movements in response to music that can best be described as disturbing. We call this gene the rhythm gene. Unlike other genes which are either dominant or recessive this is an all or none gene. You either have it or you don’t.

Dr. Furr ain’t got no rhythm gene.

Not an iota.

Now before you start to throw a pity party for Dr. Furr because he ain’t got no rhythm gene I need you to understand that in the past I have been to a number of these Wednesday night delegate dinners where not infrequently a band will strike up and a number of you will get up and do something that we loosely call dancing. I have iPhone video evidence that a number of you ain’t got no rhythm gene. And you wonder why your TikTok account has been frozen. That’s what we call in detective work a clue, a clue that you ain’t got no rhythm gene.

What do you do when you ain’t got no rhythm? When it seems like life did not give you all the advantages that others seemed to have received. Or there’s a voice that keeps telling you you’re not worthy. That there may be something is missing. What do you do?

On a number of occasions I have stood at a podium like this, whether for the eulogy of a university president or the dedication of a beautiful building. On the left of the podium would be words that I had written. On the right would be a script prepared by a public relations professional. It would be perfectly timed, grammatically sound and politically correct. As I would approach the podium a voice in my head would say, “Don’t take any chances. Play it safe. No one will criticize you for using the words on the right.” Always at the last moment I would reach out with my left hand and and reply to that voice in my head,” But no one will remember those words on the right because they are not my words. But just perhaps someone will hear and understand my words and know that I put my heart and soul into them and that makes all the difference.”

Milan Kundera said

“When the heart speaks, the mind finds it indecent to object.”

Passion will fade. Rhythm and natural ability will only get you so far. They may get you to the first dance but it is the strength and rhythm of the heartbeat that makes sure you’re there for the last dance. And that’s the one that counts. At the last dance family medicine shows its heart and its passion.

I’m not the same person you elected three years ago. I’ve seen way too much death. Like you I’ve stood in the gap and I’m confident that we also have saved more lives then ever before. 

As specialists, as scientists we know the numbers and understand the science, but we also know our patients names so that when we speak of what we know with our heart the world will find it indecent to object.

I understand now better than ever our place in this world.

With a deeper clarity than ever before,

I know that the answer to all of the questions that might come out of that cardboard box is us. You and I. Family Medicine.

It may or may not be in my genes but I know I will be a Family Physician until the last beat of my heart. I am confident so will you. 

That is Strong Medicine for everybody.

It is time. Together with heart, passion and maybe even a little bit of rhythm we can and will make a difference. 

It is time.They need us now more than ever.

Steve Furr will serve you well. It ain’t what he does not have that counts.