Features  |   July 2015
How Not to Reinvent the Wheel: Advocacy and Physician Mentorship
Author Affiliations
  • David M. Broussard, M.D., M.B.A.
    Committee on Governmental Affairs
  • Khaled A. Dajani, M.D.
    Committee on Governmental Affairs
Article Information
Advocacy and Legislative Issues / Features
Features   |   July 2015
How Not to Reinvent the Wheel: Advocacy and Physician Mentorship
ASA Monitor 07 2015, Vol.79, 22-23.
ASA Monitor 07 2015, Vol.79, 22-23.
“If I have seen further, it is by standing upon the shoulders of giants.”
– Sir Isaac Newton, circa 1676
It is undeniable that we are in the midst of a new era in health care. Whereas previous breakthroughs in medicine have included vaccines and antibiotics, the human race is now poised for the next big explosion – like the promise of stem cell technology or the hope of gene therapy. But putting aside the science of medicine for a moment, the United States in particular has seen a remarkable growth in the “politicization” of health care over the last two decades. In 2014, for example, the health care sector as a whole spent more money on lobbying efforts than the media, energy or defense sectors, and second only to the finance industry (no surprise there).1  The pharmaceutical lobby alone accounted for more than the agricultural, labor and defense sectors combined.1  Certainly, one can argue that many health care interest groups have motives outside of our patient’s best interests when influencing policy decisions. A Harris poll from 2013 found that only 4-7 percent of adult Americans would trust any statement from a managed care or health insurance company.2  As for our elected legislators in Congress, 94 percent have no background in health and may not fully understand public health policy, unless we as physicians step up to inform them.3,4 
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