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The AAFP is a professional society for American family doctors. The AAFP states that: "The American Academy of Family Physicians is the national association of family doctors. It is one of the largest national medical organization. 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. "The Academy was instrumental in the establishment of family practice, a derivative of classical general practice, as medicine's twentieth primary specialty. The AMA's Council on Medical Education and the independent American Board of Medical Specialties granted approval to a certifying board in family practice, the basic structural requisite of a medical specialty, on February 8, 1969. Examinations have been given annually since 1970, and recertification examinations annually since 1976. "The Academy maintains a national headquarters in Kansas City, Missouri. 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."