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Logo of bmcmeduBioMed Centralsearchsubmit a manuscriptregisterthis articleBMC Medical Education
 
BMC Med Educ. 2012; 12: 47.
Published online Jun 22, 2012. doi:  10.1186/1472-6920-12-47
PMCID: PMC3418180
Self-reported evaluation of competencies and attitudes by physicians-in-training before and after a single day legislative advocacy experience
Kristin M Huntoon,1 Colin J McCluney,corresponding author2,3 Elizabeth A Wiley,4 Christopher A Scannell,5 Richard Bruno,6 and Matthew J Stull7
1New York College of Osteopathic Medicine, Old Westbury, NY, USA
2University of Washington School of Medicine, Seattle, WA, USA
3American Medical Student Association, 45610 Woodland Rd, Suite 300, Sterling, VA, 20166, USA
4George Washington University School of Medicine, Washington, DC, USA
5University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA, USA
6Oregon Health & Science University, Portland, OR, USA
7Department of Emergency Medicine, University of Cincinnati School of Medicine, Cincinnati, OH, USA
corresponding authorCorresponding author.
Kristin M Huntoon: khuntoon/at/nyit.edu; Colin J McCluney: mccluney/at/u.washington.edu; Elizabeth A Wiley: ewiley/at/gwmail.gwu.edu; Christopher A Scannell: scannell/at/usc.edu; Richard Bruno: rbruno/at/ohsu.edu; Matthew J Stull: matthew.stull/at/uc.edu
Received January 20, 2012; Accepted June 22, 2012.
Abstract
Background
Advocacy is increasingly being recognized as a core element of medical professionalism and efforts are underway to incorporate advocacy training into graduate and undergraduate medical school curricula. While limited data exist to quantify physician attitudes toward advocacy, even less has been done to assess the knowledge, skills, and attitudes of future physicians. The purpose of this study was to assess students’ experiences and attitudes toward legislative advocacy, cutting out using a convience sample.
Methods
A paper survey based on previously validated surveys was administered to a convenience sample of premedical and medical student participants attending a National Advocacy Day in Washington, DC, in March 2011, both before and after their advocacy experiences. Responses were anonymous and either categorical ( or ordinal, using a 5-point Likert scale. Data were analyzed statistically to evaluate demographics and compare changes in pre- and post-experience attitude and skills.
Results
Data from 108 pre-advocacy and 50 post-advocacy surveys were analyzed yielding a response rate of 46.3%. Following a single advocacy experience, subjects felt they were more likely to contact their legislators about healthcare issues (p = 0.03), to meet in person with their legislators (p < 0.01), and to advocate for populations' health needs (p = 0.04). Participants endorsed an increased perception of the role of a physician advocate extending beyond individual patients (p = 0.03). Participants disagreed with the statement that their formal curricula adequately covered legislative healthcare advocacy. Additionally, respondents indicated that they plan to engage in legislative advocacy activities in the future (p < 0.01).
Conclusions
A one-time practical advocacy experience has a positive influence on students’ knowledge, skills and attitudes towards legislative advocacy. Practical experience is an important method of furthering medical education in advocacy and further research is necessary to assess its impact in a broader population.
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