Cardiologists on Capitol Hill? It turns out that a big part of taking care of patients is controlled by what happens in Congress! Lobbyists can have negative reputations, but there is nothing wrong with lobbying for your patients and your livelihood in order to improve the care of those patients.
As a naturalized American citizen, I found it fascinating to interact with representatives and senators about the day-to-day challenges and experiences of a cardiologist. They were actually interested in hearing what I had to say! I realized after decades of being a cardiologist that, if I really wanted to impact health care, I could do so by influencing the people who make the laws. I hope every cardiologist can have the experience of “going to the Hill” in order to advocate for cardiovascular clinicians and the care of our patients.
As Sandra J. Lewis, MD, FACC, immediate past chair of the WIC Section, recently stated, “ACC’s Legislative Conference is an unparalleled opportunity for ACC members to share their vision and perspectives with their state’s legislative team as well as with state and national ACC leaders. Personally, I still get goose bumps every time I walk onto ‘the Hill.’ If you have never visited your senator or representative’s offices, you are missing an incredible chance to share your perspectives and influence the direction of health care.”
ACC’s 2016 Legislative Conference will take place in Washington, DC, Sept. 11 – 13, complete with sessions for new and experienced attendees and a day-long visit to the Hill. I encourage all cardiovascular clinicians to attend this amazing meeting at least once.
Prior to the start of the conference on Sunday, the WIC Section will hold a leadership workshop for section members, which will spotlight issues such as salary and advancement party, having the difficult conversation and building financial skills.