Liebow, Mark F picture 2024.jpgJune 2024 MMA Advocacy Champion

Mark F. Liebow, MD, MPH

Retired Internal Medicine Physician, Mayo Clinic

1) Why is being an advocate so important?
Advocacy has been important in my career since it allows me to try to make changes that improve the lives of many patients or help doctors, which complements the clinical work I’ve done with individual patients and families. I also do this because our profession needs advocates, I enjoy advocacy, and my work can benefit physicians who aren’t comfortable doing advocacy work.

2) What healthcare related issues have I advocated for over the past year?
The primary issue of my advocacy career, which I’ve worked on for fifty years, is for publicly-financed health care for all, ideally for all Americans, but at least for Minnesotans. I am still working toward this. At the national level, I have worked recently on improving Federal funding for training primary care physicians and for physician payment policies that will move us toward an adequate primary care workforce.

3) What advice would you have for others who are interested in advocacy?
Advocacy is a skill and can be learned, just as we learn to take a complete history or to perform procedures. If you want to be an advocate, you can learn how to be good at it by working with experienced advocates or by being trained at it. If you’re a good clinician, you’ll probably become a good advocate once you’ve learned the techniques.