Advocacy does make a difference

Advocating for physicians at the Iowa Capitol: Scott Truhlar, M.D.; Noreen O’Shea, D.O.; Cindy Hanawalt, M.D., Ph.D.; Leonard Kerr, D.O.; Brian Privett, M.D.; Gabe Conley, University of Iowa medical student and IMS Board member; Mikayla Brockmeyer, DMU student and IMS Board member; and Christi Taylor, M.D.  

I serve as the medical student director representing DMU on the Iowa Medical Society Board of Directors. The board has two medical student directors; Gabe Conley from the Carver College of Medicine at the University of Iowa serves as my counterpart. Our board was represented well during the recent Physicians Day on the Hill (PDOTH) at the Iowa Capitol Building, and we met with both chambers. Our top priority was tort reform, or medical malpractice liability reform. More specifically, we were advocating for a hard cap on non-economic damages as it relates to the physician workforce shortage. 

Students from DMU also joined the discussion at an afternoon reception. Prior to PDOTH at the Capitol, students met with advocacy mentors to receive advice, listen to several physicians give their advocacy testimonies, and strategize. We were lucky to incorporate their knowledge and past experiences at the Iowa Capitol and in Washington, DC, for our own understanding. Their varied life experiences, fields of medicine and modes of involvement in advocacy at the state and national levels gave students multiple angles to approach the task at hand: assembling their own advocacy “elevator speeches.”

Dr. Amy Shriver and Brenna Ryan, D.O.’24, M.H.A.’24, practice for Physician Day on the Hill.

We are so thankful to Tom Benzoni, D.O.’83, EM, AOBEM, FACEP, assistant professor of osteopathic clinical medicine; Jennifer Beaty, M.D., FACS, FASCRS, associate dean for graduate medical education and student advancement; Hillary Haas, D.O.’13, ABFM, AOBFP, assistant professor of osteopathic clinical medicine; Tiffani Milless, M.D., a physician with Iowa Pathology Associates and president of IMS; Amy Shriver, M.D., a pediatrician and assistant professor of specialty medicine at DMU; Adrian Woolley, D.O.’95, director of osteopathic principles and practice education at DMU; Dennis Tibben, director of external affairs at IMS; and Gabe Conley for sharing their valuable insights.
Speaking on behalf of the medical community at large at advocacy events allows our voices to be heard. Initiating and continuing conversations are truly important in seeing legislation pass. Your voice and your stories can leave a lasting impact on legislators. Advocacy does make a difference, so consider joining conversation we’ve started at Iowa Medical Society. 

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