AMA Wire

Wednesday, Jan. 9, 2013

Special Feature

Lobby Congress on medicine's key issues during National Advocacy Conference

Lobby Congress on medicine's key issues during National Advocacy Conference

Nearly 100 new representatives and senators were sworn into Congress last week. As they join their colleagues in considering many important issues this year—including the future of Medicare physician payments, funding for medical residency training and implementation of the Affordable Care Act—now is a critical time to ensure they understand the needs of patients and the medical profession.

Physicians can be powerful advocates for medicine by attending the AMA's National Advocacy Conference, Feb. 11–13 at the Grand Hyatt Washington in Washington, D.C.

Attendees will hear from political insiders, industry experts and federal lawmakers on health system reform refinement and implementation. They also will take part in discussions that will shape the AMA's advocacy efforts and meet with their members of Congress.

"It's a crucial opportunity for us to gather together to advocate for our profession, our patients and our employees," said Marilyn Heine, MD, a Langhorne, Pa., internist, during last year's NAC.

AMA leaders and staff also will provide briefings on the current political landscape for physicians.

"Hearing from the speakers and AMA staff [helps] put together a picture of where things are going and what role we can play as active participants in the political process," said Andrew Paul Lazar, MD, a dermatologist from Modesto, Calif., at last year's conference.

This year's featured speaker is Chuck Todd, political director and chief White House correspondent for NBC News and host of the "Daily Rundown" on MSNBC. On Feb. 12, Terry Moran, co-anchor of ABC News' "Nightline," will serve as master of ceremonies during the Dr. Nathan Davis Awards for Outstanding Government Service. The Dr. Nathan Davis Awards are recognized nationally as one of the most prestigious honors extended to elected officials and career government employees for outstanding endeavors that advance public health.

Prior to the conference Feb. 10–11, medical students will partake in their own Advocacy Day. Before spending time on Capitol Hill meeting with legislators and their staffs, students will hear briefings on legislative issues and participate in interactive educational sessions on effective advocacy and lobbying techniques.

The AMA Presidents' Forum, also scheduled to take place Feb. 10–11, will feature speaker Daniel Kraft, a Stanford- and Harvard-trained physician-scientist, inventor, entrepreneur and innovator.

Register today (AMA login required) for the conference. Also, a discounted rate on hotel rooms at the Grand Hyatt Washington ends today, so book your room now.