Friday, September 29, 2023  |  1:00 – 2:15 pm
The Essence of Family Medicine
Presented by
Richard D. Feldman, M.D., FAAFP
Program Director Emeritus and Senior Medical Education Advisor, Franciscan Health Family Medicine Residency Program, Indianapolis, IN

This presentation will explore the history and origins of the specialty of family medicine as well as examine family medicine's core values and basic tenets.  In doing so, one will come to understand the essence and uniqueness of our specialty.  

  • Describe the history and origins of family medicine
  • Explain who were the grassroots practicing founding fathers of our specialty 
  • Discuss the core values and basic tenets of family medicine
  • Define the concept of "mindfulness of presence" with patients and explain its importance in family medicine
  • Explain in what way developing relationships with one's patients defines the essence and uniqueness of our specialty 

About Dr. Feldman

Richard Feldman, M.D. is a 1972 Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Indiana University, Bloomington and a 1977 graduate of Indiana University School of Medicine. After completing one year of psychiatry residency at Indiana University, he finished his post-graduate medical training at Franciscan Health Indianapolis Family Medicine Residency in 1980.  He is a frequent lecturer, locally and nationally, on public health, medical humanities, and clinical medicine topics as well as non-medical historical subjects. He has been an editorial columnist on health-related policy issues for the Indianapolis Star, the Indianapolis Business Journal, and many other Indiana newspapers.

After a short time in private practice, in 1981 Feldman became Program Director of the Franciscan Health Family Medicine Residency Program until 2018. He continues in semi-retirement as Program Director Emeritus and Senior Medical Education Advisor. He holds professorships at Indiana University School of Medicine and Marian University College of Osteopathic Medicine. Dr. Feldman has the distinction of being the youngest-ever family medicine residency program director and also having the longest-ever program director tenure in the nation.

Dr. Feldman served as Indiana's State Commissioner of Health from 1997 to 2001. He has been active on the boards of multiple governmental, medical-professional, community health-related nonprofits, and cultural institutions.  Feldman is past president and chairman of the board of the Indiana Academy of Family Physicians.   He served on the AAFP Public Health Commission and was chairman of the AAFP Education Commission in 2019.

He has received numerous national and state professional, educational, and public health awards.  This includes two Sagamores of the Wabash from Governors O’Bannon and Holcomb.  Feldman also received the 2002 AAFP National Public Health Award and the 2014 AFMRD/AAFP Zervanos Outstanding Program Director Award.

Dr. Feldman’s work as an amateur historian has been highlighted in several public television documentaries. He is the author of three books and other historical articles. “Home Before the Raven Caws”, Dr. Feldman’s first book, written on the subject of totem poles, was published in 2003 (second edition 2013). His second book, “Family Practice Stories - Memories, Reflections, and Stories of Hoosier Family Doctors of the Mid-Twentieth Century” was published in 2013 and is in its fourth printing.  His third book, “What Our Patients Have Taught Us” is scheduled for publication in fall of 2023. (All books published by the Indiana Historical Society Press).

The father of three sons, Dr. Feldman and his wife Becky, also a physician, reside in the historic Indianapolis Golden Hill neighborhood.  His second home is Santa Fe, New Mexico.