American Medical Student Association Visits Elected Officials During Annual Advocacy Day
More than 200 physicians-in-training will descend upon Capitol Hill for a full day of advocacy and activism.
Kelly Thibert, D.O., M.P.H., National President
American Medical Student Association
Washington, D.C. – February 23, 2017: Members of the American Medical Student Association (AMSA) are a vital force of future physicians who believe that patients and health professionals are partners in the management of health care and that access to high-quality, equitable health care is a right and not a privilege. At AMSA, activism is a way of life and student idealism is transformed into meaningful public service, innovation and institutional change.
AMSA’s Advocacy Day is the start to our weekend-long Annual Convention and Exposition in Crystal City, Virginia. On this day, over 200 physicians-in-training will descend upon Capitol Hill for a full day of advocacy and activism. Students will convene in the morning for training about meeting with elected officials, to talk more about the issues they are passionately advocating on behalf of and to meet like-minded students. Following a morning of preparation, these future physicians will don their white coats and head to Upper Senate Park from 12:30pm to 2pm where they will rally for health care. They will hear from speakers representing organizations partnering for this day of events including: the Committee of Interns and Residents (CIR), SNMA (Student National Medical Association), LMSA (Latino Medical Student Association), AACOM (American Association of Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine) and PPFA (Planned Parenthood Federation of America) before heading to meet with their elected officials to discuss issues affecting our nation’s health.
AMSA’s Education and Advocacy Fellow, Dr. Matt Moy says that “Some feel physicians have no space in politics, but are we not citizens? Are we not immigrants, students in debt, patients and minorities? We are constituents, and staying silent is not an option. We need to let our elected officials know who and what they represent and it starts here, today at AMSA’s Advocacy Day.”
“As the next generation of physician leaders, AMSA members have a moral imperative to stand up to injustice and advocate for the health of their communities. Just like medicine, activism is not easy, but it is our responsibility to do the right thing by caring for the most vulnerable,” said Baltimore City Health Commissioner and former AMSA President Dr. Leana Wen. “Recognizing that everything is tied to health, I urge future physicians to ask difficult questions, call out the problems they see, and speak up for those who do not have the privilege or power to do so. Now is the time to act – our patients’ lives depend on it.”
Together, we are standing in solidarity to ensure that our patients have access to the health care they need to live their lives to their fullest potential. We are health care providers. We are patients. We are citizens. We are exercising our rights today so that every person will have access to their human right of quality, affordable, equitable health care tomorrow.
AMSA’s National President, Dr. Kelly Thibert notes that “Now, more than ever, we need to empower and be empowered to utilize our voices and to help raise the voices of others. For more than 65 years, AMSA has fought for the rights of our patients and we have no intention of easing up anytime soon. Our Advocacy Day is just one of the many times you can expect to hear from physicians-in-training moving forward.”
We are America’s physicians of tomorrow and we value access to quality, affordable health care. AMSA will continue to put patients over politics and will fight for the care and rights of our patients, always.
AMSA is the oldest and largest independent association of physicians-in-training in the United States. Founded in 1950, AMSA is a student-governed, non-profit organization committed to representing the concerns of physicians-in-training. To learn more about AMSA, our strategic priorities, or joining the organization, please visit us online at http://www.amsa.org.