Why is being an advocate so important to you?
I went into Obstetrics and Gynecology to help women advocate for their health. I believe that taking charge of medical choices is an important stepping stone to making positive changes in any woman’s life. As a physician I feel it is my responsibility to explain a complex health situation in an individually appropriate way, thus empowering my patient to make her own decision. Advocating for myself is equally important; over the last two years I have completed an MBA Degree with a concentration in Medical Management. I think that continually challenging myself and expanding my knowledge and experiences are critical to my ongoing personal and professional development.
What health-care related issue(s) have you advocated for over the past year?
Recognizing the current social and political instability of women’s reproductive rights, I decided to become an active participant in the work of the Minnesota Medical Association’s Abortion Policy Workgroup. We were tasked with conducting an in-depth review of the MMA's existing policies on abortion and offer recommendations. I was honored to be a part of this group that clarified our Association's position on supporting the women of our state with their healthcare decisions. Prior to this workgroup I have been a member of the MMA Policy Council for several years and look forward to continued work on critical health policy issues facing my fellow physicians.
What advice would you offer to others who are interested in advocacy?
Recognizing what causes your frustration may be the area where you could have the most impact. Change starts with passion. Take charge and seek out ways to educate and empower yourself and others to try and develop solutions that will end the frustration.