Tom Schmidt, MS4, University of Minnesota Medical School

April 2020

  1. Schmidt-Thomas-5x7-300dpi-(002).JPGWhy is being an advocate so important to you? Being a physician is a position that is held in high regard in our country, it is imperative to me to use that privilege to affect meaningful change for my patients, my colleagues, and my community.
  2. What health-care related issue(s) have you advocated for over the past year? This past year I have focused my advocacy efforts towards harm reduction in infectious diseases and improving immunization rates in Minnesota. My harm reduction advocacy has been focused on increasing access to syringe exchange services in Minnesota.
  3. What advice would you offer to others who are interested in advocacy? When starting out in advocacy, it can be intimidating and that is normal. Start easy, contact groups that are involved in advocacy in line with your goals. Work to build that coalition to make change. You are not going to change the world in one day, play the long game. Set small specific and attainable goals as you progress toward your advocacy goals.