What people are saying:

“Physicians have a remarkable opportunity – and I would say responsibility – to advocate on behalf of patients and the health care system. It makes sense, then, that as we learn about the art and science of medicine, we physicians-in-training should begin learning about our role in advocacy.”

Colin McCluney
AMSA Education & Advocacy Fellow, 2011 - 2012

Advocacy Leadership Institute

2013/2014 Program Pending Sponsorship. Please check back momentarily for updates. If you are interesting in sponsoring this event, please contact jkoetje@amsa.org.

As physicians-in-training, we are likely to see many things that we'd like to change, whether locally in our communities and educational institutions, or globally at the state, federal or international level. What can any one person do to try to effect any of these changes? The answer is advocacy - but of course this just raises more questions… What is advocacy and what does it mean to be an advocate?

The Advocacy Leadership Institute

The emphasis of this institute is skill-building and campaign planning, each participant will be involved in developing advocacy projects to target health-care disparities. The institute also includes a "Day on the Hill" for students to meet with the Congressional staff of their elected officials (subject to scheduling & availability) to advocate on behalf of a health-related issue.

Sessions Include

  • Physician as Advocate
  • Student-Driven Curriculum Reform
  • Issue Campaign Planning
  • Organizing Communities and Coalitions for Change
  • How a Bill Becomes a Law
  • Leadership and Communicate in Medicine and Organizing
  • Capitol Hill Lobby Visit

Although the role of advocacy training in medical education has generated significant controversy, AMSA strongly endorses the importance of this training for future health professionals. Advocacy is increasingly recognized as a core element of medical professionalism in service to patients and AMSA stands at the forefront of developing these skills for physicians-in-training.

Why Advocacy?

Although the role of advocacy training in medical education has generated significant controversy, AMSA strongly endorses the importance of this training for future health professionals. While some have questioned the potential politicization of medical schools and academic medical centers, advocacy has increasingly been recognized as a core element of medical professionalism, and efforts are underway to incorporate advocacy training into graduate and undergraduate medical school curricula.

By virtue of the role physicians play in society and the unique features of the doctor-patient relationship, physicians and physicians-in-training are uniquely suited to advocate with and for patients. To develop effective physician advocates, longitudinal skill development is essential from the outset of training. The importance of this objective at the medical school level is outlined in the AAMC’s Medical School Objectives Project, and there are several medical schools with novel health policy programs.

Exposure to policy, however, is not synonymous with exposure to advocacy, and most physicians-in-training do not have access to a comprehensive advocacy curriculum or even isolated advocacy experiences in formal curricula. Physicians-in-training with exposure to formal training and advocacy experiences will be better positioned to efficiently and effectively advocate for health equity throughout their careers.

Program Fees

Applicants who are selected to participate will be expected to pay tuition fee:

  • Members: $249
  • Non-Members: $299

Tuition includes breakfast and lunch on Friday, Saturday, Sunday and Monday as well as 4 nights of hotel accommodations (up to 4 same-gender persons to a room; although an option for 2 can be offered for an additional fee). Program fees will also be used to offset the cost of developing the educational program, including resource materials and administrative support. Please be aware that the institute organizers have worked hard to provide participants with a unique, enjoyable, and educational experience while keeping costs to a minimum.

Participants will be responsible for all other meals and travel expenses, including airfare and/or ground transportation.

AMSA Academy

AMSA AcademyAMSA Academy, established by and for students, is a training ground for physician leaders, empowering medical students to effect change in medicine.

Become a Leader

Looking to make a difference? Consider becoming a National Leader for AMSA, the leader in medical student and healthcare initiatives.

Save the Date

AMSA's 2015 Annual Convention
AMSA's 2015 Annual Convention

February 26 - March 1, 2015
Arlington, VA / Washington, DC