2021 virtual Medical Student Advocacy Conference (MAC)

Virtual advocacy training conference for medical students

Free to AMA members

The AMA Medical Student Advocacy Conference (MAC) will be held virtually in 2021 and includes one day of programming and one day of scheduled virtual Hill visits.

Learn how to be a successful advocate and participate in advocacy

  • Get training on how to be a public health advocate
  • Receive education on these health policy issues to support on Capitol Hill:
    -Combating maternal mortality
    -Regulations surrounding medical marijuana research
    -Telehealth accessibility and innovation
  • Attend a virtual Capitol Hill visit with med students from your voting district

AMA code of conduct and anti-harassment policy

Review the AMA Code of Conduct for ensuring professional and ethical behavior at AMA events and functions, and the association's zero tolerance for any type of harassing conduct.


Registration for the virtual Capitol Hill visit on March 5 is closed, but you can still register for March 4 events and get access to advocacy training and education. AMA members register for free. Registration deadline is March 3 at 11:59 p.m. Eastern.

Get the latest advocacy news

Stay up-to-date on how the AMA is fighting for physicians in the courts and legislature with your personalized news feed on the AMA Connect app.

Meeting platform access

Information on how to access the meeting platform will be posted once available. 


Agenda is subject to change leading up to the conference. All times are Eastern.

Thursday, March 4

9:30-9:35 a.m.

  • Welcome address:
    Reilly Bealer, AMA Government Relations Advocacy Fellow

9:35-9:45 a.m.

  • Congressional address:
    Senator John Barrasso, MD (R-Wyoming)

9:45-9:55 a.m.

  • Congressional address:
    Representative Kim Schrier, MD (D-Washington)

    9:55-11 a.m.

    • Keynote and congressional addresses:
      See "Speakers" tab for confirmed speakers

    11 a.m.-Noon

    • Receive education on the confirmed health policy issues

    Noon-12:10 p.m.

    • Special address:
    • Patrice A. Harris, MD, MA, a psychiatrist from Atlanta and immediate past president of the AMA, will reflect on her career in advocacy and organized medicine.

    12:10- 1:10 p.m.

    • Learn effective lobbying techniques from experts and observe mock Hill visit demonstration

    1:10- 1:30 p.m.

    • Social presentation:
      Victoria Gordon, AMA Student Digital Fellow

    1:30- 3 p.m.

    • Voting state meetings:
      Convene by voting state, discuss talking points on the confirmed health policy issues and assign roles

      3-5 p.m.

      Advocacy education programming:

      An inside look into the life of Congressional staffers
      This session aims to look at what goes on behind the scenes in Congress by talking with staffers regarding their roles and responsibilities, what occurs following the lobbying process, and tips for advocates to be as effective as possible.

      Health equity and advocacy through COVID-19 and beyond
      Hear from a panel of public health and health equity experts to address the root causes of the health inequities that we are seeing currently, amplified by the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as future solutions in policy and legislation to combat these inequities.

      Public health infrastructure
      As COVID-19 rages on, we continue to rely on our public health leaders, medical professionals, and scientific community to help guide us along the way. This session will look at the lessons we have learned from COVID-19, the policies and decisions that need to be implemented in order to move forward and rebuilding public infrastructure.

      5-6 p.m.

      • Virtual networking mixer with AMA Ambassadors

      Friday,  March 5

      9-5 p.m.

      • Virtual Capitol Hill visits:
        Specific voting states' schedules to be announced. Visit times will vary.

      Contact us with any questions at [email protected].


      John Barrasso (R), U.S. senator from Wyoming.

      John Barrasso, MD, R-Wyo.

      U.S. Senator

      John Barrasso, MD, was sworn in to the United States Senate in 2007 having represented the people of Natrona County in the Wyoming State Senate from 2003-2007. He is the third-ranking member in the Senate Republican leadership as chairman of the Senate Republican Conference.

      Reilly Bealer, AMA GRAF

      Reilly Bealer

      AMA GRAF

      Reilly Bealer is currently serving as the AMA Government Relations and Advocacy Fellow for the 2020-2021 term with AMA Division of Legislative Counsel. She has worked on a multitude of advocacy issue areas including public health infrastructure, immigration, Medicare, native health, maternal mortality, telemedicine, health equity and accessibility to care.

      Lindsey Brill

      Lindsey Brill, JD

      AMA Congressional Affairs

      Lindsey Brill has been a lobbyist with AMA since January 2007. She has focused on public health in areas of maternal mortality and diabetes prevention, telehealth coverage, and physician payment issues such as surprise medical billing and evaluation and management code changes while covering the Senate Finance and HELP Committees.

      Jennifer Brown

      Jennifer Brown, JD

      AMA Div. of Legislative Counsel

      Jennifer Brown advances AMA’s legislative and regulatory agenda by drafting advocacy materials related to maternal mortality and morbidity, federal fraud and abuse laws that apply to physicians, physician-owned hospitals, prior authorization, Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, cybersecurity, physician industry relations/Sunshine Act, and Emergency Medical Treatment and Labor Act.

      Kimberly Chernoby, MD

      Kimberly Chernoby, MD, JD

      Health Policy Fellow

      Kimberly Chernoby is a Health Policy Fellow on the U.S. Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions under Chair Murray. She was the first graduate of the MD/JD program at the University of Florida. Her policy interests include women’s health and prescription drug access.

      Katherine Dapper

      AMA Congressional Affairs

      Katherine Dapper works with the AMA Congressional Affairs team to advance the AMA’s legislative agenda by working directly with members of Congress and U.S. senators to further legislative efforts to support providers across the nation on AMA priorities within public health, telehealth, maternal mortality, immigration, data privacy, mental health, and others.

      Sharice Davids, (D) represents the 3rd Congressional District for Kansas.

      Sharice Davids, D-3rd, Kansas

      U.S. Representative

      Sharice Davids has served as the U.S. Representative from Kansas's 3rd congressional district since 2019. She became one of the first two Native American women to serve in Congress. Rep. Davids has centered her work on putting Kansans first, fighting to limit the influence of special interests and make health care more affordable and accessible to everyone.

      Victoria Gordon

      Med Student Digital Fellow

      Victoria Gordon, an OMSIII at Kansas City University, is completing clinicals at Lee Health. She recently finished a year pursuing research and teaching anatomy at her institution. She is the Medical Student Digital Fellow and served as AMA-MSS MERC chair, Region 2 secretary, and 2020 Ambassador Program Steering Committee member.

      Portrait of Patrice Harris

      Patrice A. Harris, MD, MA

      AMA Immediate Past President

      Patrice A. Harris, MD, MA, a psychiatrist from Atlanta, was the 174th president of the American Medical Association, and the organization’s first African American woman to hold this position. Dr. Harris has diverse experience as a private practicing physician, county public health director, patient advocate and medical society lobbyist.

      Photo of Marilyn J. Heine

      Marilyn J. Heine, MD

      AMA Council on Legislation

      Marilyn J. Heine, MD, FACEP, FACP, FCPP is an emergency medicine and hematology oncology physician in southeast Pennsylvania and clinical assistant professor in the Department of Medicine at Drexel University COM in Philadelphia. A tenacious advocate for physicians and patients, Dr. Heine serves as chair of the AMA Council on Legislation.

      Robin Kelly (D), represents the 2nd Congressional District for Illinois.

      Robin Kelly, D-2nd Ill.

      U.S. Representative

      Robin Kelly has dedicated her career to public service to advocate for Illinois families. Since elected to serve the 2nd Congressional District in 2013, she has worked to expand economic opportunity, community wellness, and public safety, championing initiatives to generate job growth, reduce health disparities, and end gun violence.

      Dana Lichtenburg

      Dana Lichtenburg

      AMA Congressional Affairs

      Dana Lichtenberg is assistant director for AMA Congressional Affairs where her primary assignments include the House Energy and Commerce Committee, Medicare, public health and digital health.  She joined the AMA in 2011. Prior to AMA, she was legislative director for former Congressman Bart Gordon (D-6th, Tennessee).

      Jason Marino

      AMA Congressional Affairs

      Jason Marino has been with the AMA on the lobbying team for the last fifteen years and currently serves as director of Congressional Affairs. Jason and his team work to advance the AMA’s legislative agenda in both the House of Representatives and Senate.

      Aletha Maybank, MD

      Aletha Maybank, MD, MPH

      AMA Chief Equity Officer

      Aletha Maybank, MD, MPH currently serves as the chief health equity officer and group vice president for the AMA where she focuses on embedding health equity across all the work of the AMA and leading the Center for Health Equity.

      Patty Murray, (D), serves as United States Senator from Washington.

      Patty Murray, D-Washington

      U.S. Senator

      As Washington state’s senior senator, Patty Murray has a proven track record spanning more than two decades of fighting for Washington state families in the United States Senate. Serving as a member of senate Democratic leadership since 2007, she has established herself as a tireless and effective leader on many issues.

      Marcella Nunez-Smith, MD, MHS

      Marcella Nunez-Smith, MD

      Biden COVID-19 advisory board

      Marcella Nunez-Smith, MD, is co-chair of the Biden-Harris COVID-19 Health Equity Task Force. Dr. Nunez-Smith is an associate professor of internal medicine, public health and management at Yale, and is one of the nation’s foremost experts on disparities in health care access.

      Kim Schrier, MD, D-WA

      Kim Schrier, MD, D-8th Wash.

      U.S. Representative

      Kim Schrier represents Washington’s 8th Congressional District. Prior to being elected to Congress, she spent her career as a pediatrician helping families navigate the health care system. In Congress, the congresswoman uses this expertise to inform her work on issues that improve the lives, health and well-being of children.

      Fawn Sharp

      Fawn Sharp

      President, NCAI

      Fawn R. Sharp serves as the 23rd president of the National Congress of American Indians (NCAI), the oldest, largest and most representative American Indian and Alaska Native tribal government organization in the country. Sharp is the third woman to hold the position of NCAI president.

      Christopher Sherin

      Chris Sherin

      AMA Congressional Affairs

      Chris Sherin currently serves as an assistant director in the Division of Congressional Affairs at the AMA. In this capacity, Chris primarily handles House Democratic leadership and Democrat House Ways and Means Committee members.

      Danielle Turnipseed

      Danielle Turnipseed

      AMA Federal Affairs

      Danielle Turnipseed is assistant director in the Division of Federal Affairs at the AMA. She ensures AMA policies and positions are brought to appropriate government officials in the administration and agencies including Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), health care associations and coalitions.

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