Wednesday, Oct. 9, 2013
This Week's News
Make an impact on the next election: AMPAC shows you how
Physicians who want to actively influence health care policy can do so in a big way with help from AMPAC, the AMA's bipartisan political action committee. Whether it's running for public office or campaigning for a candidate who supports issues that are important to medicine, AMPAC offers programs to help physicians meet their political goals.
For AMA members or their spouses considering a run for public office, the AMPAC Candidate Workshop taking place Feb. 14-16 in Arlington, Va., helps physicians make the leap from the exam room to the campaign trail. The workshop provides training in campaign strategizing, media advertising, public speaking and fundraising.
At the workshop, political veterans will share their advice about politics and explain the sacrifices required to run a competitive campaign. Attendees also will learn the secrets of effective fundraising, how to become a better public speaker and how to handle campaign crises, among other skills.
In last year's elections, 13 graduates of the workshop were elected to state and federal offices.
"The AMPAC program helped immeasurably," anesthesiologist Steve Dickerson, MD, said. He won a seat in the Tennessee Senate in November after attending the AMPAC Candidate Workshop in 2007.
"While I had always had an interest in politics, I had never been exposed to the nuts and bolts in any manner," Dr. Dickerson said. "The program gave me an overview and provided the foundation for what I learned subsequently."
For AMA members, spouses and state medical association staff who want to become more involved in campaigning for their candidates, the AMPAC Campaign School offers hands-on training.
This five-day "boot camp" for politics centers around a simulated congressional campaign, during which attendees are trained in advertising, public speaking and fundraising and participate in such practical exercises as recording radio ads and writing fundraising letters. The campaign school takes place April 2-6 in Arlington, Va.
Excluding travel, AMPAC covers all expenses for applicants who are accepted to one of these programs—an excellent value for AMA membership.