The AMA “Members Move Medicine” series profiles a wide variety of doctors, offering a glimpse into the passions of women and men navigating new courses in American medicine.
On the move with: Matthew E. Lecuyer, MD, a pediatric emergency medicine fellow at Hasbro Children’s Hospital in Providence, Rhode Island.
AMA member since: 2010.
What inspired me to pursue a career in medicine: Medicine, especially pediatric emergency medicine, is the path I took that could combine science, education and advocacy into one career trajectory. I love that in medicine we never stop learning while we are teachers for the next generation. Especially in pediatrics, we are constantly advocating for our patients and the movement of our profession forward.
How I move medicine: I take the inspirational stories I find in my pediatric emergency department from my patients to my local and national professional organizations in order to effect change. I try to instill in my trainees the importance of involvement in advocacy to push our profession forward.
Career highlights: From 2017–2018, I was fortunate to chair the AMA Resident and Fellow Section. I am now serving on the Massachusetts Medical Society’s board of trustees. Both positions have helped me give back to organizations that have provided me with so much.
Advice I’d give to those interested in pursuing a career in medicine: The best advice I ever got was to “go for it.” Seriously. As the first person in my immediate family to pursue a career as a physician, I turned to my home in organized medicine to find mentors and advice—but honestly, if this is your passion, you can find a way to make an impact. It will not be easy and you will miss family events, sometimes even weddings, because of classes and clinical obligations. But in the end, it is totally worth it.
Aspect of my work that means the most: Every day, I get to help kids—is there anything better than that? As an emergency physician, I see parents and patients at some of the lowest points in their lives, and I get to help them feel better, educate and help.
How I advocate for physicians and patients: Every year, I make it a point to take time off—usually vacation to go to the AMA National Advocacy Conference. It is by far my favorite AMA event and my favorite way to turn my patients’ stories into action.
My hope for the future of medicine: That my generation and the generations to come take medicine into the next era by making advocacy a priority. Far too often, decisions are made about how we can practice medicine by folks that are not physicians.
I cannot stress the importance of the impact you can have on thousands of patients and physicians all at once by being an active member of organized medicine. We all go into medicine because we want to help people, and there is no better way than to make a difference at a population and policy level.
Visit MembershipMovesMedicine.com to learn more about other AMA members who are relentlessly moving medicine through advocacy, education, patient care and practice innovation, and join or renew today.