Chris Wee, MD
Hematology and Oncology Fellow Mayo Clinic
Nov. 2020 Advocacy Champion
1. Why is being an advocate so important to you?
Decisions are not made by the majority; they are made by the majority of those who show up. We have an obligation to our profession, and more importantly the patients we serve, to be at the table when decisions are made.
2. What health-care related issue(s) have you advocated for over the past year?
Obviously, the COVID-19 pandemic has reprioritized our efforts, both in our practice and in the halls of our legislature. The fact that 2020 is an election year has also given lawmakers less incentive to make bold decisions. Certainly, protecting patient-physician privilege and legislation to promote health equity and eliminate disparities has always been important. But even the more mundane issues, like streamlining the prior authorization process, have been an advocacy priority to me because they can help patients and increase my practice satisfaction.
3. What advice would you offer to others who are interested in advocacy?
There are so many ways to get involved. Of course, in-person meetings with our lawmakers can be very impactful, but these opportunities may be limited during the pandemic. In a way, this may be beneficial to physicians, since relative to competing interest groups, we may not have as much free time to meet with legislators. Find alternative ways to get in contact with your lawmakers. Even a phone call can make a difference, especially in the state legislature where districts are small. And if you can, please consider donating to MEDPAC!