Hundreds of emergency physicians are gathered in Washington, DC, for the Leadership & Advocacy Conference. The programming kicked off yesterday with the Health Policy Primer, and today's schedule includes the Leadership Summit, keynote address and more.
Follow along with today's live blog below and join the conversation on social media (#LAC22).
Sunday, May 1 | 3 pm ET
Puneet Gupta, MD, FACEP, offered a lesson in local politics through the lens of his experience advocating for patients with psychiatric emergencies. “The system was designed to be hard to change,” he said.
One aspect of state-level advocacy that Dr. Gupta values is the direct connection with the legislators and the people impacted by policy change. “Through advocacy, emergency physicians can get to know their locally elected officials at a deep and personal level.”
Gupta noted how hard it can be to spur progress on issues that matter. But, he noted, timing is everything. “During COVID, we found our time to introduce a bill that would unburden an overburdened system.”
Emergency physicians were urged get involved in their state chapter because that’s where things start and that’s where policies tend to be modeled into national legislation.
Sunday, May 1 | 2:45 pm ET
Ryan McBride, MPP, ACEP director of congressional affairs, gave a look at the history of graduate medical education (GME) and ACEP advocacy around the availability of slots. McBride highlighted ACEP-supported solutions to fill gaps in communities with physician shortages, explaining, “We want to avoid overcorrecting and provide true incentives for people to move to rural communities.”
Sunday, May 1 | 2:30 pm ET
Marisa Dowling, MD, MPP, took the stage to share an in-depth look at her change through her experience with maternal health advocacy. She offered a call to action for emergency physicians, regardless of their experience levels.
“We need you to lend your voice on the issues. My maternal health experience is just one example of moving from science to advocacy to enactment. But we still have far to go.”
Sunday, May 1 | 2:15 pm ET
In a rapid-fire series of presentations, emergency physicians discuss the role of physician advocacy and identify the impact that emergency physicians can have with their health system, legislators, and regulators.
“Trust us, we can solve this," said Nathaniel Schlicher, MD, JD, MBA, FACEP.
Dr. Schlicher kicked things off with an explanation of how important the emergency physician perspective can be in the regulatory arena. In meetings with his hospital leaders, he realized that his experience in the emergency department equipped him to inform solutions to his health systems biggest challenges.
“It is amazing to see what emergency physicians can do when we are in the room as experts. We can lead the house of medicine,” Dr. Schlicher said.
He explained that regulation is where significant work must be done. “It won’t be flashy, but it will be meaningful,” he said.
Sunday, May 1 | 12:45 pm ET
Today we're live at the Health Policy Primer hosted by EMRA and ACEP's Young Physicians Section. It's all about empowering medical students, EM residents and young physicians with advocacy education and helpful tips so they'll feel more confident advocating on behalf of the specialty.
The goal of the first session of the day is to help provide history and context on a topic that, in the words of session moderator Kurtis Mayz, JD, MD, MBA, FACEP, is "often discussed, sometimes misunderstood": contract management groups.
After explaining the historical development of contract management groups of all shapes and sizes - and the good, bad and ugly implications of those developments -- an audience member asked what we should be advocating for moving forward. Panelists Heidi Knowles, MD, FACEP, and Thomas Sugarman, MD, FACEP, FAAEM, agreed that it starts with grabbing your seat at the advocacy table, whether it's local, state or federal.
"If you're not at the table, you're on the menu," Dr. Knowles said. They explained that once individuals start weighing in on advocacy, they can lobby for policy improvements that protect emergency physicians on the job, such as due process. Dr. Sugarman also said that all new physicians need to develop a basic understanding of the business of medicine so they can make informed employment decisions.
For those who are in the job search process and want to see where the employer stands on key issues, the panelists recommended the following tips:
- Ask about billing transparency.
- Ask how the group is governed. Find out how often new physicians are leaving and talk to those who left about their reasons.
- Review your contract for due process rights and billing transparency. Consider hiring an expert to review your contract.
- View contract review checklist and Career Center resources.
- See how ACEP is advocating for physician autonomy.
Friday, April 29
It's a busy Friday afternoon, and we are gearing up to travel to Washington, D.C., for the 2022 ACEP Leadership & Advocacy Conference!
This year, ACEPs biggest advocacy event is focusing on protecting emergency physicians on the job. Our members will be meeting with legislators to strengthen protections from ED violence, reform Medicare physician payment, and stand up for physicians’ rights to due process and a fair work environment. Read more about this year's key issues.
The conference has a packed itinerary, and our team be providing live updates here as the action kicks off on Sunday at 12:30 PM EST. Make sure to check back often to see the latest.
- More: Here's what's on tap for LAC22.
- Can't be there in person? You can still sign up to participate virtually.