Flora Sadri, DO
The 2017 calendar year may be nearing its end but there is no winding down for action-packed, legislative advocacy on all stages.
Last month, I attended an educational and very inspiring state legislative conference in Dallas, Texas that also concluded my term as the Chair of the AAFP Commission on Government and Advocacy. The conference provided a tremendous opportunity to participate and learn hands-on about various legislative processes. I was able to observe how various chapters cooperate, take on challenges and overcome their differences to pass legislation beneficial to the care of their patients. I was also able to follow the progress of the AAFP advocacy for family medicine in Washington D.C. Some of the invaluable sessions in the conference included MACRA, Health Reform 2.0-Chip and Medicaid reforms, Administrative Burden-Legislative and Regulatory Advocacy to improve physician wellness. Other sessions involved workforce development, opioid misuse and direct primary care - an alternative to traditional insurance. These are also some of the topics that the MassAFP committees are involved in and are working on tirelessly.
The MassAFP has done its own share of legislative advocacy. We had two opportunities to testify and provide written testimony for hearings of the Joint Committee for Public Health. The first occurred on October 24 and it was geared towards supporting Workforce Development and Patient Safety. The second occurred on November 7 regarding Scope of Practice and Nurse Practioners - where the MassAFP provided testimony in opposition of the bill. As the president of MassAFP, I was able to provide testimony, present our views with supporting documentation and statistical data in hope of influencing and shaping the future of medicine that is right for Massachusetts.
The world of medicine is changing and evolving every day. As physicians, we are affected daily by new policies and procedures that shape the way we practice medicine. Quite often, I am approached by my colleagues with expressions of concern and displeasure regarding the direction that family medicine is heading towards. On one hand, we have the best interest of our patients in heart and on the other, we are facing political and environmental changes that impede our ability to practice quality medicine while trying to avoid burnout and job dissatisfaction. It has been a while that the status quo is no longer benefiting you or your patients. MassAFP has been working on your behalf and has tried to represent your interests for a number of years and will continue to do so in the coming years. However, we need you to be more involved in matters that impact you the most. We value your input and participation in order to benefit from your knowledge and experience that strengthens our abilities to articulate your needs and convey your message to our congress. Speaking from experience, there is a profound sense of reward and satisfaction in working towards achieving certain goals or addressing issues that are facing us all as family physicians and our communities as we forge ahead. I encourage you to take the first step and reach out to MassAFP; there are so many ways you can contribute with as little or as much time you can offer. Contact the MassAFP office or call (888) 871-9181 to learn more. The strength in our organization is derived from those who are actively participating and contributing on all levels. Please become involved and most importantly, be heard.
Flora Sadri, DO