When Public Health, Advocacy and Professional Organizations Collide: Part 1
Once yearly, Maricopa EM residents get the opportunity to mix with Arizona’s ACEP chapter and take to the capitol building with a mission of advocacy. This year we headed into discussion with our co-residents, current legislature and our attending colleagues to discuss recent legislation on vaccine legislation. This year one of our topics was made even more timely by the recent and first diagnosed case of measles in Pima County over the weekend. While specific and timely, the discussion broadened to include WHO recommendations on communicating science and stories with patients and their families opposed to vaccinations.
Sometimes resident’s begrudge another activity added to their plate, but this paring of legislature and fellow ACEP docs is a beautiful mix and an opportunity to finally participate in the legislative process. At first it seems overwhelming and asinine. Yet even a resident has trouble holding their tongue when discussing those controversial issues that directly relate to our practice. And what better time to arm ourselves with personal stories and data to boot to work on those things that really bog us down, that irritate and annoy to no end or that just frustrate us into silence.
If you want a primer on talking about vaccines with your patient’s or even heading to a legislature to partake in advocacy, check out this article from ACEP Now as well as EMRA’s guide to advocacy.