February 2023 Advocacy Champion
1. Why is being an advocate so important to you?
University of Minnesota Medical School
My path to medicine began as an interpreter at a safety net clinic during college where I saw entire populations left behind by our profit-hungry healthcare system. I eventually chose a career in medicine for the potential to both mitigate these disparities and use the platform to advocate on behalf of my future patients.
Being an advocate is how I reconcile my desire to help others with the reality that the healthcare system often propagates harm, rather than healing. It means acknowledging the powerful role organized medicine has played in stifling meaningful healthcare reforms over the last century, while working to foster a new generation of community-centered physician advocates.
2. What health-care related issue(s) have you advocated for over the past year?
I’ve advocated for expansions in healthcare access—namely, single-payer healthcare. I’ve also worked with my fellow medical students to promote civic engagement, connecting the dots between the ballot box and the changes we as students want to see implemented in our healthcare system. At the moment, I am working with colleagues to draw attention to consolidation in the healthcare industry and its downstream impact on patients, academic institutions, and learners.
3. What advice would you offer to others who are interested in advocacy?
While the voices of physicians are powerful, it’s important to practice humility and recognize that we are just one part of larger coalitions. For sustainable advocacy, we must center the work of long-standing organizations that have spent years building the groundwork for positive change.
That said, being a medical student comes with a tremendous platform — and responsibility — to advocate for our future patients. Even being in the room at a committee hearing or press conference can have an impact, simply by showing that we as medical students are paying attention and staying engaged (Physicians' Day at the Capitol
is a great place to start!). We will soon become part of the healthcare system, and we want to see it do better for patients and physicians–so let's make our voices heard.
Past Advocacy Champions
- January 2023: Thomas C. Kingsley, MD, MPH
- December 2022: Adrina Kocharian
- November 2022: Dawn Ellison, MD
- October 2022: Julia Joseph-Di Caprio, MD, MPH
- September 2022: Siri Fiebiger, MD
- August 2022: Corey Martin, MD
- July 2022: Mark Rosenberg, MD
- June 2022: Vince D. LaPorte, MD
- May 2022: Lora Princ, MD, MBA
- April 2022: Kimberly Tjaden, MD, MPH, FAAFP
- Mar. 2022: Kacey Justesen, MD
- Feb. 2022: La Princess Brewer, MD, MPH
- Jan. 2022: Juan Bowen, MD
- Dec. 2021: Natalia Dorf-Biederman, MD
- Nov. 2021: Liselotte (Lotte) N. Dyrbye, MD, MHPE, FACP
- Oct. 2021: Joshua Stein, MD
- Sept. 2021: Gregory A. Poland, M.D., MACP, FIDSA, FRCP (London)
- Aug. 2021: Deborah Erickson, MD
- Jul. 2021: Caleb Schultz, MD, MPH
- Jun. 2021: Jill Amsberry, DO
- May 2021: Maria Arciniegas Calle, MD
- Apr. 2021: Derrick Lewis
- Mar. 2021: Cindy Firkins Smith, MD
- Feb. 2021: Maria Veronica Svetaz, MD, MPH
- Jan. 2021: Paul Matson, MD
- Dec. 2020: Verna A. Thornton, MD
- Nov 2020: Chris Wee, MD
- Oct 2020: Beth Baker, MD
- Sept. 2020: Edward P. Ehlinger, MD, MSPH
- Aug. 2020: Ashok Patel, MD
- July 2020: Sen. Matt Klein, MD
- June 2020: Nathan T. Chomilo, MD, FAAP
- May 2020: Peter F. Bornstein, MD, MBA
- April 2020: Tom Schmidt, MS4
- March 2020: Rachel E. W. Tellez, MD
- Feb. 2020: Dionne Hart, MD, DFAPA
- Jan. 2020: Heather Bell, MD
- December 2019: Rep. Kelly Morrison, MD
- November 2019: Carolyn McClain, MD
- October 2019: Renee Crichlow, MD, FAAP
- September 2019: Will Nicholson, MD
- August 2019: Lauren Williams, MD
- July 2019: Carl E. Burkland, MD
- June 2019: Marilyn J Peitso, MD, FAAP