Lisa Plymate MD, Washington State Director, Doctors for America
Hey there, all you doctors who KNOW we need to reform our health care system: DFA provides the way to do it! You know the med school adage, “see one – do one – teach one” when it comes to procedures on the wards. Well, the same holds for learning to do public speaking, conducting legislative office visits, leading a group in a rally, coordinating advocacy campaigns: You can do it, and it’s empowering. Doctors for America provides a great way to meet other physicians who care first and foremost about improving the health of our patients. We are on the frontlines; we see the problems every day. We see it as our professional duty to advocate for change that helps our patients.
As Washington State Director of DFA, I have had opportunities to interact with over 100 other community activists in the “Healthy Washington Coalition” on a regular basis. I have gotten to know our state and federal legislators on a first-name basis. I had the joy of presenting features of the Affordable Care Act to a large, enthusiastic group of University of Washington medical students. Together with other doctors in our area, we’ve participated in rallies, spoken at at least 15 public forums throughout the state, pushed our legislators to vote for reform, written numerous letters-to-the-editor, and have just gotten together to brainstorm over what to do next – and to enjoy each other’s company. DFA Central in D.C., with our weekly policy/strategy conference calls, keeps us informed with updates on policy and political maneuverings. We learn on a daily basis from discussion groups, blogs, twitter. We learn from experts – and from each other. We “meet” in virtual space, then rally our hearts out together when the time is right to “hit the streets” in D.C. We’re united first in a cause, then as friends coming together to do what we can to shape a better world, putting our patients first.