The presidents of the Brown chapter of Citizen Physicians developed and coordinated a new pre-clinical elective entitled "Advocacy in Action." Aaron Shapiro, Executive Director of Citizen Physicians, recently taught a workshop as part of this elective course entitled "Physicians Engaging in Nonviolent Activism."
The power point used in this workshop is attached below.
He also introduced students to Gene Sharp's list of 198 methods of nonviolent activism and created a framework for strategizing acts of nonviolent activism based off of Gene Sharp's methodology (below).
Please feel free to utilize any of these materials for further teaching about nonviolent activism and contact Aaron directly with any questions.
As a non-issue-based, non-partisan organization dedicated to increasing civic engagement among healthcare practitioners, we believe that healthcare policy should be evidence based. We encourage medical students and other healthcare workers to get involved in politics (including running for office) because we feel that the evidence based decision making skill-set that scientists possess is an important skill-set that should be universally present in policy making arenas.
For these reasons, Citizen Physicians is excited to be participating in the March for Science on April 22. We hope you join us!
Order a Citizen Physicians March for Science t-shirt here.
Let us know if you plan on participating here so we can keep you updated.
We have a limited number of couches for CP supporters and members to sleep on in the DC/Maryland area for those of you who are making the trek for the official march. If you are interested in being hosted, click here.
Citizen Physicians is excited to announce our newest campaign: Engage 2018!
Engage 2018 is our effort to increase civic engagement activities at every medical school across the country and to get every single eligible medical student to vote in the November 2018 midterm election.
If you or someone you know is interested in mobilizing your medical school classmates to get ready for the 2018 election cycle, contact us to talk about starting a chapter of Citizen Physicians at your school and/or sign up for our National Medical Student Voter Registration Campaign!
During election season, two more medical schools founded chapters of Citizen Physicians, encouraging medical students to prioritize civic engagement. Meet the presidents of the newest chapters of Citizen Physicians at Georgetown Medical School and Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth!
Marwah Shahid grew up in Nashville, TN and attended Vanderbilt University for her undergraduate studies. Her most formative experience while at Vanderbilt was as a member of the Ingram Scholars Program, a four year program committed to developing scholars in service to the community. Because of her interest in health policy and advocacy, she moved to Washington, DC and is currently a fourth year medical student at Georgetown University. She is a Health Justice Scholar at Georgetown and the Legislative Affairs OSR Delegate for the Northeast chapter of the AAMC. She hopes Citizen Physicians can serve as a platform to dissect the intersection of medicine and government.
Ariel Wampler is a second year at Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth, and a 2015 graduate of Cornell University’s College of Human Ecology. She intends to pursue a M.D.-M.P.H dual degree through The Dartmouth Institute for Health Policy and Clinical Practice, where she is currently involved in research on shared decision-making and identifying high-value care practices. During college, she performed research on health risk communication, steered and wrote for two student publications focused on health and medicine, and served as both a peer counselor and trainer for prospective counselors. Additionally, she mentored younger pre-health students, twice oversaw Cornell’s annual week-long healthcare conference, and performed extensive fundraising for the Ithaca Free Clinic as well as for a local food bank as part of the Kappa Omicron Nu honor society. During the summer of 2014, as a Public Policy Associate for the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, she tracked legislation, media coverage, and current research to support mental health advocacy. She ultimately hopes to combine practice with teaching and advising policymakers on healthcare payment reform.
Ashley Dunkle is a second year medical student at Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth. Originally from Ohio, she attended undergraduate at Denison University, majoring in biology with an interest in health sciences. After college, Ashley worked in Copenhagen, Denmark planning and leading academic travel at the Danish Institute for Study Abroad. As her global interests grew, Ashley pursued an MPH from Boston University School of Public Health, concentrating in global health and epidemiology. During her studies, she worked as a research assistant on a multi-national childhood pneumonia etiology study called PERCH in Lusaka, Zambia. She has also participated in research in OBGYN at Boston Medical Center, and completed a summer internship at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta, studying refugee health. Ashley spent two years as Program Coordinator for the Global Primary Care Program at Massachusetts General Hospital Center for Global Health. She helped manage a global health residency program, global health electives for internal medicine residents, and partnership initiatives in rural Uganda. Prior to starting medical school, she served as a Global Health Corps Fellow in Kampala, Uganda developing curricula to train health workers in managing non-communicable diseases. Ashley believes that health is a human right and aims to serve vulnerable populations in medicine and public health so we may have greater health equity both in the United States and globally.
This story originally aired on National Public Radio's "The Pulse" radio show. See the posted story here: http://www.newsworks.org/index.php/thepulse/item/98526-why-do-so-few-doctors-vote
NOVEMBER 4, 2016 THE PULSE
Why do so few doctors vote?
BY NEDA FRAYHA
People in the medical profession aren't great voters. At election time, we turn out in lower numbers than farmers, teachers, and lawyers...especially lawyers.
Researchers at the University of Pennsylvania found that fewer than 49 percent of physicians voted in the 2000 election, for example. That's compared to lawyers, who turned out at almost 70 percent. More than 800,000 strong, doctors could be a powerful voting block in the United States at election time. So, why the apathy?
Dr. Nidhi Goel, a hospitalist at the University of Maryland Medical Center in Baltimore, offers up a suggestion: "I think everybody will use the excuse of time, which is fair, but then kind of not so much. Because we can find time to do things that are important."
And she's right. Lack of time is a key reason doctors give for not voting. Researchers who study voting patterns have theorized that doctors vote in lower numbers because medical schools attract people who like science more than civics. Other studies have indicated that many doctors feel like their work has enough social purpose, so they can skip voting, guilt-free.
Goel says she's also struck by the tension that can come with politics.
"Now in the current political environment, it can be really challenging to have these discussions openly," she winces. "And it can become very adversarial. It can feel very personal."
Think about it, do you really want to know that your doctor is voting for the candidate you can't stand? Some doctors stay out of politics for the same reason, so they don't alienate their patients.
When I ask 32-year-old cardiologist Jeremy Pollock why physicians are bad voters, he gives me a reason that the medical community understands well but that would surprise many patients.
"From the very beginning, we are not taught anything about the political or the business side of medicine," says Pollock. "You might have one little 20 minute personal finance class in medical school. You might have a financial advisor try to come get your money in residency, but there is no emphasis. This is not institutionalized as important."
To his point, a recent newsletter from the American Medical Association listed nine issues that will affect the work and livelihood of physicians this election cycle, including: Medicare reform, insurance regulations, issues surrounding electronic health records, student debt relief, telemedicine, prescription drug abuse and addiction, and prescription drug pricing. These are not binary topics. They are complex and require serious study to fully understand.
"Every day, I'm just trying to learn how to be a cardiologist, and that breadth of information that I'm responsible for is unbelievably scary," says Pollock. "So then you add on top of that, 'learn about the politics of medicine!' There's no way. So it's this helplessness."
Pollock's point is that, despite spending decades in training, when it comes to policy, physicians can feel undereducated, too. And it just so happens that there are groups who are working to change all this.
In a '70s-style auditorium on the medical campus of the University of Maryland, a few dozen doctors-to-be are eating pizza and hoping to feel less helpless. This is a meeting of Citizen Physicians—a grassroots movement that started at Brown University with the mission of helping future doctors better understand those tricky policy topics.
One of tonight's speakers is Dr. Clarence Lam. He's young and energetic, a rising star in the Maryland General Assembly where he is one of four physicians. After the panel, I asked him why he thinks doctors stay out of politics.
"We are very linear thinkers," Lam says. "We base all our decisions, or we try to, on data, on things that we see, on observations. That's not necessarily the case in policy, where you're trying to convince people. From a physician's standpoint, from a scientist's standpoint, it's incredibly frustrating to realize that the data might be completely outweighed by one or two stories."
Lam warns that politicians also make decisions based on who shows up to vote: "If they see that the physician community doesn't come out to vote as often as, say, the attorney community, then they will probably be more likely to listen to the attorney community than to physicians. Because you don't turn out to vote."
It turns out, taking good care of patients includes showing up Tuesday morning to pull that lever.
More doctors need to vote and get politically involved
Note that oral and written testimony are unique; this post discusses oral testimony only. Further note that the "Getting There" section is for the State of Rhode Island only, while the "Giving Testimony" and "Tips" section applies more broadly.
1. Arrive at the RI Statehouse by 4:30PM (earlier if the bill is controversial and will draw significant testimony).
2. Sign up in the in the hearing room that is posted on the committee agenda.
3. Wait for the ‘Rise’ (aka the moment when the House or Senate ends their floor session); this is when testimonies will begin.
4. Wait in the hearing room until you are called by the chairperson to testify. If the room is over capacity, wait outside the room.
5. Thank the committee and chairman/woman
6. State your name and expertise
7. State the bill number and your position
8. Clearly state your argument and back it up with stats, facts, and examples. Remember to:
Post Author: Shayla Durfey, medical student at the Alpert Medical School of Brown University and co-President for Citizen Physicians
Contact: Aaron Shapiro
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Students Campaign to Register Every Medical Student in the Country to Vote
Providence, RI (6/27/16) – Citizen Physicians, a non-partisan organization dedicated to training future healthcare providers in effective civic engagement, has launched the National Medical Student Voter Registration Campaign (NMSVRC), an initiative to get every medical student in the country registered to vote in time for the November 8th election.
Aaron Shapiro, Executive Director and Founder of Citizen Physicians, said, “We’re working to become the ‘Rock the Vote’ of the healthcare community and get a voter registration initiative in every medical school across the country. We already have students from thirty medical schools signed up and more students are joining us every week.”
Medical students participating in the campaign commit to hosting a voter registration and information table during the first few weeks of the coming academic year, specifically targeting incoming first year students. Shapiro, a medical student at the Alpert Medical School of Brown University, continued, “Our goal is to send a strong message to medical professionals -- starting on day one of medical school orientation -- that doctors, just like every other American citizen, have a civic responsibility to vote. Politicians make critical decisions that dramatically affect our patients and how we practice medicine. It’s our responsibility to be informed citizens when we step into that ballot box.”
Andreas Mitchell, founding President of the Citizen Physicians chapter at Harvard added: “Our patients' health, as well as our own, is affected by policy decisions that are happening before our eyes. As the second Citizen Physicians chapter, we look forward to helping grow the movement to engage medical professionals in their communities.” Kaylie Miller, co-president of Citizen Physicians’ newest chapter at University of Maryland, Baltimore said that despite the rigor of medical school, she and her classmates were enthusiastic about “engaging in the political process that will affect our future patients.”
Medical students who organize a voter registration and information table at their school receive a Citizen Physicians lapel pin for their white coat to signify their appreciation for the responsibility physicians have to be informed voters and civically engaged. Students can sign up to participate at www.citizenphysicians.org/nmsvrc.html
About Citizen Physicians
Citizen Physicians is a start-up organization with a non-partisan, non-issue-based mission to train future healthcare providers in effective civic engagement. Our goal is that every graduating healthcare practitioner feels competent in their ability to access governmental systems both as individual citizens and as healthcare providers who care for diverse patient populations. We currently have four chapters of Citizen Physicians: Alpert Medical School of Brown University (founding chapter), Harvard Medical School, Pritzker School of Medicine at University of Chicago, and University of Maryland in Baltimore.
Medical schools currently participating in the National Medical Student Voter Registration Campaign include:
Alpert Medical School of Brown University
Baylor College of Medicine
Case Western Reserve School of Medicine
Central Michigan University College of Medicine
Creighton University School of Medicine
Drexel University College of Medicine
Harvard Medical School
Howard University School of Medicine
Keck School of Medicine
Loma Linda University School of Medicine
Loyola Stritch School of Medicine
Mercer University School of Medicine
New York Medical College
Oakland University William Beaumont School of Medicine
Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine
Pritzker School of Medicine, University of Chicago
Rush Medical College
Stony Brook University School of Medicine
Touro College of Osteopathic Medicine
University of Arizona College of Medicine
University of California Irvine School of Medicine
University of California Riverside School of Medicine
University of Cincinnati College of Medicine
University of Illinois at Chicago
University of Maryland, Baltimore
University of Minnesota-Twin Cities Medical School
University of Mississippi School of Medicine
University of Texas Health Science Center School of Medicine
Western Michigan University Homer Stryker School of Medicine
Wright State University Boonshoft School of Medicine
This article was originally published on the Brown Medicine Magazine website.
GET OUT THE VOTE
BY PHOEBE HALL
Med students across the US are working to get their classmates to the polls in November.
You don’t have to be a political junkie to be absorbed by the news this election season. But even civically minded medical students, mired in exams and clinical rotations, may feel that voting should take a backseat to their studies.
Not so, says Aaron Shapiro MD’18, founder of the student group Citizen Physicians at Alpert Medical School, which aims to increase civic engagement among its fellow med students.
“Physicians—just like every other citizen—have a civic responsibility to vote,” Shapiro says. “We work to find ways to decrease barriers to engagement. This is a very important election year and we want to make sure that medical students across the country are able to participate.”
Their goal is not small. Citizen Physicians, which also has chapters at Harvard and the University of Chicago, aims to get every medical student in the nation registered to vote in time for the November 8 election. Their National Medical Student Voter Registration Campaign is reaching out to medical schools across the US to organize voter registration drives and get the word out to students that yes, they can—and should—make the time to vote. So far 25 schools are participating, and more sign up every week, Shapiro says.
“I’ve heard from medical students across the country that there really isn’t any voice encouraging medical students to register to vote,” he says. “We want them to know that their administrations support them and encourage them to take this time.”
Last fall, Citizen Physicians welcomed Alpert Medical School’s first-year students with a voter registration drive, and will do so again this August. The group helps students navigate concerns about where they should register—locally or in their home states—as well as how to request absentee ballots.
To make any good habit last a lifetime, it’s best to start early. That’s why targeting medical students is important. “Physicians vote significantly less than the national average,” Shapiro says. “Making it so easy to register to vote was the main reason we are working to bring this initiative to national scale.”
Any medical student who organizes a voter registration drive at their school (especially focusing on registering first-year students at the start of next academic year) will receive a Citizen Physicians lapel pin for their white coat.