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Incorporating Advocacy into Residency and Beyond
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Incorporating Advocacy into Residency and Beyond


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  • 1. Incorporating Advocacy into Residency and Beyond Sourav Sengupta, MD, MPH Western Psychiatric Institute & Clinic
  • 2. Agenda
    • What is advocacy?
    • Why is advocacy important for psychiatrists?
    • What were YOUR thoughts about engaging in mental health advocacy?
    • Workshop Logistics
  • 3. Access Insurance Stigma Workforce Patient Care Policy Funding Families Communities
  • 4. What can we do ? How do we address these issues?
    • Nothing
    • Something
    • Devote your life to the cause
    • Educate community groups and legislators about bullying.
    • Partner with community coalition to decrease drug ODs.
    • Lobby Congress for loan repayment programs.
    • Sit on County Advisory Board developing housing policy for homeless.
    • Write a letter to the editor warning of MH state budget cuts.
    • ANY of the above.
  • 5. What do you mean, advocacy ?
    • Educate, support, recommend, push, preach, speak, argue, plead, influence… SPEAK UP!
    • Clinical care is advocacy.
    • So are community, system, social interventions! – Community
    • – Governmental
    • – Media
    • You are clinical experts! We need to develop advocacy expertise!
  • 6. Why am I here?
    • Advocacy works!
    • It gets easier with practice!
    • What about those “head against the wall” moments when we feel out of control, helpless?
    • Everybody’s doing it…
    • Oh, yea… ACGME, ORT requirement
  • 7. Can Advocacy Help w/ Burnout?
    • Burnout = tired, stressed, helpless, only partially related to workload
    • Reconnect (or remain connected) with our passion for psychiatry
    • Empower ourselves to act (however small or stepwise) on things that make us feel helpless
    • Is that worth some time and energy?
  • 8. Advocacy Isn’t Just for Bleeding Hearts…
    • $$$
    • Scope of practice
    • Professional standing in community
    • Networking
  • 9. Keep informed…
    • Mental health news in popular media
    • Professional, government, support org news emails and newsletters
    • News Alerts emails
    • Social media (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn)
    • Blogs
    • Committee, Task Force Conf. Calls, Minutes
  • 10. Get Involved…
    • Join your professional org
    • Join a committee
    • Find a niche! Be the go-to gal/guy!
    • Work on projects , not positions
    • Develop leadership/ownership
    • Network, network, network!
  • 11. Know your limits…
    • Limit your hard time obligations
    • Focused, time-limited effort
    • Consider before committing! “That sounds really interesting… Let me get back to you…”
    • If comfortable, involve family & friends!
    • Involve colleagues and trainees!
    • Utilize professional org support staff
    • Remember – team efforts!
  • 12. Thank you!
    • Never underestimate the power of a few committed people to change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.
    • -Margaret Meade
    • It is amazing what you can accomplish if you do not care who gets the credit.
    • -Harry S Truman