Wednesday, Feb. 27, 2013
This Week's News
You can affect the next election, and AMPAC can show you how
One of the most effective ways to shape the nonclinical issues challenging physicians every day—medical liability, reimbursement, scope of practice and administrative burdens, just to name a few—is through politics. That makes it imperative for physicians and patients alike that political candidates who are sensitive to these issues be elected to public office, whether it be at the national, state or local level.
You can help ensure that physicians and patients are well represented by becoming a political strategist for medicine-friendly candidates. And a program offered by the bipartisan AMA Political Action Committee (AMPAC) is the place to learn how to assist and support those who have medicine's best interests in mind.
Taking place April 17–21 in Arlington, Va., the AMPAC Campaign School provides expert, specialized training that molds physicians into winning political advisers. The program is renowned for its use of a simulated campaign for the U.S. House of Representatives, complete with demographics, voting statistics and candidate biographies.
Participants are broken into campaign "staff" teams and augment the instruction they receive during the day with nightly exercises in strategy, vote targeting, advertising and public speaking. Experts from both sides of the political spectrum—professionals who are advising campaigns at every level around the country—reveal insider tactics that make the difference between winning and losing an election.
Nishit S. Patel, MD, a dermatologist in Tampa, Fla., who attended last year's Campaign School, called the program an "eye-opening experience that taught me the practical ins and outs of a political campaign."
"The combination of hands-on simulation and targeted didactics provided the perfect blend to teach me how to organize and be a part of an effective campaign team," Dr. Patel said. "I would encourage anyone who has a desire to become a more effective advocate for patients, the profession and the community to attend."
The Campaign School also can serve as a catalyst for physicians considering a future run for office. Nikan Khatibi, DO, a resident completing his specialty training at Loma Linda University Medical Center's Department of Anesthesiology, used the lessons taught during last year's program to secure a seat on the Loma Linda, Calif., Planning Commission.
"It's authentic, resourceful and you'll have a fantastic time learning about the vast intricacies of political campaigning," Dr. Khatibi said. "As soon as residency is over, I plan on using the tools I learned at the school to make a serious run for higher office."
The Campaign School is open to AMA members and their spouses, and AMPAC covers all costs other than transportation—including meals, lodging, faculty and materials. Only a few spots are left for this year's program, so apply today.
And if you're not an AMA member, join today and take advantage of this unique educational opportunity.
The Campaign School is one of several political education programs offered by AMPAC, which strives to get more physicians involved in politics. AMPAC is getting results; at least 13 graduates of AMPAC political education programs won state and federal elections last year.