Advocacy, Learning Objectives

“Throughout my career, I've learned my voice and my advocacy can save as many lives as my scalpel or stethoscope.”
--Dr. Jerome Adams, Surgeon General 2020


  • Gain an understanding of the State and Federal Judicial System as it pertains to health policy and law
    • Session 1: ACOG Module 1 - Legislative Advocacy &
      Module 4 – What is a Physician Advocate?
  • Understand structure of government and the legislative process
  • Understand the role physicians play in creating and implementing healthcare policy
  • Health Advocacy Framework:
    • Social and structural determinants of health
    • Trauma informed care
    • Reproductive Justice
  • Health Systems
    • The failings of our current healthcare system: Cost containment, universal coverage, better systems in other countries


Session 2: Developing a Strategic action plan

  • Reflection/Values clarification exercise: what causes have you donated time or money to? Why? What experiences in your life influence causes you support? What motivated you to choose your career path? Whom do you admire for their involvement in a cause and why? What is your favorite part about your job now? What issues do you see professionally that motivate you or seem important to you?
  • Approach: How would you like to support this cause (service, technical assistance, education/research). What are your time constraints? Do you want to focus locally, nationally or globally?
  • Source Material:


  • Communicating an Effective Message:
    • Develop proficiency in written media
      • Op Ed writing
      • Letter to the editor
      • Legislative fact sheets or policy briefs
    • Understand how to craft and reference short text bulletins for use on social media.
    • Gain proficiency in verbal communication and targeted messaging for media relations
    • Lobbying 101
    • Lobbying at the Massachusetts State House
    • Writing and delivering legislative testimony
  • Developing Strategic Action Plans:
    • Identifying a problem amenable to advocacy with values clarification. Grounding advocacy in personal experience and/or professional duties and adapting advocacy skills to issue/patient population
    • Defining a problem and its scope
    • Understand unique position of physicians to link social issues and health
    • Civic engagement as a cornerstone of medical practice
    • Medical society affiliation
    • Creating research to affect policy
  • Leadership:
    • Coalition building: identifying and engaging strategic partners, contacting and collaborating with partners, needs assessment
    • He for She: How Men can use their privilege and power to advocate for female patients and colleagues