By John Corker, MD, YPS Councillor, and Benjamin Karfunkle, MD, YPS Alternate Councillor
Our Young Physicians Section represents nearly 40 percent of the ACEP membership, so we have a substantial opportunity to impact ACEP policy and priorities. Our section continues to grow in both visibility and influence, and your active participation is crucial to our efforts to improve emergency medicine for both our patients and our colleagues.
ACEP's 2018 Council Meeting in San Diego was a great success for emergency medicine. Resolutions brought forth from the EM community led to discussion on a wide range of issues, including physician mental health and suicide, buprenorphine treatment for patients addicted to opiates, injectable medication shortages, separation of children from their caregivers at the U.S. Border, firearm safety and many more.
Dr. Hilary Fairbrother, 2017-18 YPS Councillor, and Dr. John Corker, 2017-18 YPS Alternate Councillor, organized testimony on many resolutions, and we were lucky enough to have three first-time alternate councillors speak on behalf of our section on the Council floor. YPS authored resolutions promoting diversity within the ACEP council and opposing separation of migrant children from their caregivers at the border. Both were eventually passed into ACEP Policy.
ACEP's delegation to the American Medical Association's (AMA) House of Delegates proposed two policy resolutions at the recent AMA Interim Meeting in Washington, D.C. Its resolution opposing government mandates on reporting requirements for physicians was discussed at length and referred for formal study and report back at the AMA's Annual Meeting in June. Meanwhile, the resolution opposing mandatory ED co-pays for Medicaid beneficiaries was reaffirmed in lieu of existing policy, so ACEP will be following up to encourage the AMA to more actively challenge existing policies in states where such co-pays are required.
Looking ahead to 2019
In the coming year, we will lead our YPS representation at the ACEP Council as the elected councillor and alternate councilor. Please reach out to us with your interest and ideas, as we have a myriad of opportunities for involvement and leadership in our important work.
In the meantime, mark your calendar for ACEP's Legislative and Advocacy Conference May 5-8, 2019 in Washington, D.C. This conference provides our members with education about the legislative advocacy process, background information on our legislative agenda, and an excellent first step into face-to-face advocacy with our ACEP team at your side. Our legislative agenda is not yet finalized, but you will have an opportunity to meet with our national elected officials to advocate on behalf of patients and emergency physicians across the country. (Note: YPS is seeking engaging speakers for its Drop the Mic event focused on advocacy. Apply by Feb. 8 for one of approximately five spots.)
Stay tuned for more information in our next Councillors' Corner!