ACC Legislative Conference 2017 Experience
September 20, 2017 | Tamika Rozema, MD
The 2017 ACC Legislative Conference provided me with an opportunity to merge the daily routine of a physician with the policies that impact all aspects of our profession. Currently, we find ourselves in the midst of debate about health care and the services we provide. Clearly after this weekend, the debate must include physicians, who are at the front lines of care and delivery. The highlight of the conference was seeing the legislative process in action. It was the realization that without our input, this legislation will be not be reflective of best practices or patient-centered care. That is why physicians, and most importantly fellows, must realize that part of our job is to be advocates of policies that are patient-centered and rooted in best practices.
Another aspect of the Legislative Conference that was very valuable was having an opportunity to network and discuss the various topics and new discoveries in our field. Through this conference, FITs are reminded that learning is an essential part of becoming a physician who is focused on positive outcomes. Another highlight was meeting the icon of the civil rights movement, Rep. John Lewis. He represents the ideals that merge the politician's desire to achieve outcomes reflective of their values, while also understanding how to adapt their beliefs to achieve a greater good through compromise. This is a very important lesson for us as FITs, who must realize that we are responsible for expanding new horizons in medicine. I hope that the Legislative Conference will make a new marker in my development as an advocate for our profession.
This article was authored by Tamika Rozema, MD, a pediatric cardiology Fellow in Training (FIT) at Rainbow Babies and Children's Hospital in Cleveland, OH. She was a first-time attendee and recipient of an ACC travel award at the 2017 Legislative Conference, in Washington, DC.