When political science meets medicine

[music] LEAD rotations are a novel, service based,
interprofessional course at the University of Illinois at Chicago, that
brings together different types of learners from whether they’re from the
humanities they’re mostly from the Health Sciences, almost all postgraduate,
and teaches them the very basics of breaking apart a problem doing a policy
analysis and then how to convey those results to the legislator. There’s a
module part of the course where you’re learning about the legislative process,
you’re learning about Illinois specifically. In addition to that module
aspect there’s a practical component of actually working on a legislative brief
for a state legislator. There are a lot of forces that act on legislators when
they decide how to vote on a certain bill. Healthcare is immensely complicated and the state has a really important role to
play in healthcare. Today we were talking about prescription drug prices which
obviously is you know, it’s a huge problem nationally and here in Illinois.
These guys gave me some really good context about that legislation. I feel
well prepared to now go and take on this issue in Springfield. My goals going
into this rotation was to become more familiar talking to legislators and
presenting to them. It’s nice in that it gives us a chance to build a skill set
that we can’t get in any other circumstance. I hope that one of the
things that come out of this, is that these folks have gotten a sense that their
legislators and legislators in general are just regular approachable people you
can educate and have a conversation with and that the process is one that you really can have a meaningful engagement in. This course has really shown me how
I as a physician with all of this history of medical training can also use
my voice in this political process and in this process of actually putting
fort of policy that will directly affect my medical practice and my patients.
I think advocacy is especially important for people at UIC and people coming to
UIC should value UIC as a place to learn these skills. Great thing about being
in this institution, it trains and emphasizes those particular skills and I
think it’s something UIC should be very proud of. Biggest thing that we want out
of this is we want to see them next week or next year go to their own district
and engage their own State Rep.

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