Why physician advocacy is so important
“We need to stay healthy for our patients, but also for ourselves and our families. We need to mobilize the faction not just with regard to this pandemic, but by anticipating the arrival of others. So how do we advocate for ourselves? A great way to start is continuing our conversations amongst our colleagues and sharing experiences, looking to local businesses in our communities who are helping us procure masks and other supplies (several salons have already started contributing their supplies to local hospitals), and demanding more from our government going forward. Our government is prepared to increase spending when it comes to the military (in 2019, Congress authorized 716 billion in military spending), but health care workers are now in the midst of a devastating war, and all we are offered are substandard responses, ‘there aren’t enough tests,’ ‘do what you can with what you have,’ ‘wear bandanas’ etc. Remember these moments going forward. Remember the failure of the system to support us. Remember the fear, the anxiety, the guilt for not being able to do more. Take these wartime memories and harness them into political power because we are far more powerful as a unit than we are as lone warriors.”
Jessica Kiarashi is a neurologist and can be reached on Twitter @jkiarashimd.
She shares her story and discusses her KevinMD articles, “Physician advocacy in the age of COVID-19” (https://www.kevinmd.com/blog/2020/03/physician-advocacy-in-the-age-of-covid-19.html) and “Why doctors should get political.” (https://www.kevinmd.com/blog/2020/03/why-doctors-should-get-political.html)