This post was authored by Jorge Acuña Valerio, MD, member of the ACC Mexico Chapter and fellow-in-training at the Instituto Nacional de Cardiologia Ignacio Chavez.
This year I was fortunate to be invited by leaders of the ACC Mexico Chapter to attend the ACC’s Legislative Conference. What was most interesting to me was seeing how the ACC is present in other areas, not just the science and medicine. It is important for cardiologists, and any specialty, to move forward as a group and advocate before other people or organizations. I believe that often times the medical community doesn’t do enough to come together as a group, so it was satisfying to see how in a more developed social model, physicians indeed can come together to advocate before organizations, even government.
Physicians have always been leaders in society, and the weigh cardiologists have over any other specialist has always been quite particular. It is because of this responsibility why I think it’s very important for cardiologists to be involved in social activities besides their medical education and clinical formation. The principle of democracy lies when our representatives act in our favor, and to achieve this we need to have our issues exposed to them. If we, as physicians, have the support of such a powerful organization such as the ACC, it’s easier to execute.
The Congress in Mexico is comprised of Deputies and Senators. There are 500 Deputies total, and represent the citizens from each region called a “district.” The Senate members are elected by state, and we have 128 members. Even though they’re both Congress members, deputies have more power over the fiscal legislation and the senate has more power over the ins and outs of Mexican politics. Both are elected for three or six year terms, almost every one of them by voting. Although the US and Mexico differ greatly in government structure, there is still much to learn from one another.
In Mexico we have a saying: “God can’t hear the one who doesn’t speak.” I think this saying can be applied to the ACC’s Legislative Conference. If we want to move one step closer towards getting our work conditions improved, it’s necessary for us to expose these issues to our political leaders so that they can decide what contribution they can make, which will ultimately benefit patients. After seeing your model, I think in many cases this can be applied to every profession.
Visit the ACC’s International Center on CardioSource.org for more news and information about ACC’s International activities.