TOTB-03: ADVOCACY AND POLICY TRAINING PROGRAM FOR RESIDENTS AND MEDICAL STUDENTS
Michael Robert Poulson, MD; Boston University Medical Center
What problem in education is addressed by this work?:In the field of medicine there is a growing interest in advocacy but still little active involvement, which is in part due to a paucity of formal advocacy training and an unease amongst healthcare workers on how to get involved. We believe providing concrete education and training methods as well as guided opportunities to be involved in advocacy will open the door to many future physicians and healthcare workers on how to actively integrate policy engagement into their careers. The Socially Responsible Surgery Advocacy Training Programs goal is to introduce medical students, residents and faculty to concepts of disparities in healthcare and provide them the tools to advocate for their patients and communities.
Describe the intervention:
The Advocacy Training Program offers monthly advocacy roundtables to cover timely issues in healthcare in our community, such as gun violence, affordable housing, immigration status, and to offer members of the community an introduction to the issue and a clear way to get involved in advocacy for that issue. These roundtables are facilitated by community organizations or those with personal experience with the issues- such as homeless or opioid addicted individuals- which helps participants understand the face of the issues and helps create community partnerships. The Advocacy Training Program also hosts advocacy training sessions for medical students and residents, distributes a monthly newsletter and advocacy calendar of local events, and this year is planning to organize a day on the hill focused on teaching students and residents their role in the local, state, and national political system and how they can influence policies that can address the barriers their patients face.
Describe how this intervention could be applied at other institutions. Please specifically comment on identified barriers that could exist and how they could be overcome:
Regardless of the location, academic affiliations, or patient population, every hospital and medical school in the country is affected by local and national laws. This program is a low cost, resident and student run initiative that could easily be applied to other institutions- with the advocacy issues covered being unique to the community that particular medical center serves. The largest barrier to starting advocacy training programs at other institutions in having a roadmap of how to do it and having student and resident champions, however we welcome collaboration with other programs to share our model.