Tag Archives: Madi Wahlen

How the Sausage is Made: Why Doctors–and Students–Must Engage In Politics

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Photo by greyloch

Policy is not sexy. I mean, it’s not saving lives, or curing disease, or making groundbreaking discoveries. But it isn’t a stretch to say that policy is as important as any of these, because politicians are making decisions about health and healthcare that affect millions of patients and their physicians. The laws they come up with determine what you can do for your patients, how you practice medicine, how you get paid, what kinds of care are legal or illegal, and much, much more. Seems like something doctors should pay attention to, perhaps even get directly involved with.

M4 and future surgeon Sarah Eikenberry got a glimpse of the process as the first student to take the Carver College of Medicine’s new advocacy clerkship. Think you know how a bill gets passed? You might be surprised to know that Schoolhouse Rock didn’t tell us the whole story. Her self-assigned project for the clerkship was to get a bill passed in the Iowa state legislature to include the Stop The Bleed campaign in public education in Iowa. That turns out to be a pretty big project! Was she successful? What did she learn? Where do things go often off the rails?


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