Advocacy is increasingly being recognized as a core element of medical professionalism and efforts are underway to incorporate advocacy training into graduate and undergraduate medical school curricula. While limited data exist to quantify physician attitudes toward advocacy, even less has been done to assess the knowledge, skills and attitudes of future physicians
Congratulations to AMSA national leaders - Kristin Huntoon, Colin McCluney, Dr. Elizabeth Wiley (AMSA National President), Christopher Scannell, Richard Bruno and Dr. Matthew Stull (Graduate Trustee) - who recently published, "Self-reported evaluation of competencies and attitudes by physicians-in-training before and after a single day legislative advocacy experience," in BMC Education. Here is the link: http://www.biomedcentral.com/1472-6920/12/47/abstract. The purpose of this study was to assess students' experiences and attitudes toward legislative advocacy using a convenience sample of premedical and medical students attending a National Advocacy Day in Washington, D.C. in March 2011.
Data from 108 pre-advocacy and 50 post-advocacy surveys were analyzed yielding a response rate of 46.3%. Following a single advocacy experience, subjects felt they were more likely to contact their legislators about healthcare issues (p=0.03), to meet in person with their legislators (p<0.01), and to advocate for populations' health needs (p=0.04). Participants endorsed an increased perception of the role of a physician advocate extending beyond individual patients (p= 0.03). Participants disagreed with the statement that their formal curricula adequately covered legislative healthcare advocacy. Additionally, respondents indicated that they plan to engage in legislative advocacy activities in the future (p<0.01).