But a standing on Capitol Hill is just the first step.
Jairy Hunter III, MD, MBA, SFHM, associate executive medical director for case management and care transitions at the Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC) in Charleston, S.C., attended his first Hill Day in 2013. Since then, he’s been in contact with legislators and staff, sometimes formally and sometimes just running into someone at a football game.
But each time offers a chance to keep up the dialogue.
“I feel like I have a voice, and I feel like if I’m clear about what I need and I can present that in a cogent manner, I think they’ll listen to me,” says Dr. Hunter, a member of Team Hospitalist. “And hopefully along the way I can have that relationship if they need me. Or, if I need them for patient issues or for bigger issues with our university, I can be a resource for them. Frankly, it’s an opportunity to put your money where your mouth is.”
Dr. Hunter says Hill Day allows hospitalists to stop complaining and start making a difference.
“If we have the opportunity…to put ourselves in front of the people who make the decisions,” he says, “why wouldn’t we take advantage of that?”
Richard Quinn is a freelance writer in New Jersey.