Enhancing Physician Advocacy Through Collaboration With Government Relations: Report From the Health Policy Scholars Program.

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DOI: 10.1016/j.acap.2023.11.005


OBJECTIVE: To explore barriers, facilitators, and benefits of collaboration between academic pediatricians and institutional offices of government relations (OGR) to enhance policy advocacy efforts.

METHODS: The Academic Pediatric Associations' Health Policy Scholars met with the government relations team in their affiliated institutions as part of their experiential learning curriculum. Afterward, they submitted written reflections, which were coded and analyzed using inductive qualitative content analysis to identify key themes.

RESULTS: Reflections were completed by 21 of 23 (91.3%) participants. Most participants (76.2%) were faculty at free-standing children's hospitals and had been at their institutions(52.3%) or 5 to 10 years (33.3%). Institutional OGR structure varied widely and not all institutions had well-defined priorities. Key themes of the reflections included that OGRs often had dynamic priorities and fiscal considerations frequently took precedence. Barriers to physician involvement with OGR are often related to difficulty identifying the correct staff contact and not having the time and support for advocacy work. Facilitators included leveraging existing relationships and collaborations, including those of peer or mentor connections to the OGR staff. Anticipated benefits to both OGR and physicians included improved knowledge of advocacy opportunities, enhanced advocacy efforts leveraging physicians' expertise and patient stories, and message alignment and amplification of physician and institutional advocacy work.

CONCLUSIONS: Collaboration between physician-advocates and institutional OGR is feasible and, with orientation and mentorship, may facilitate improved physician and institutional policy advocacy efforts. Supporting this type of collaboration may enhance physician and institutional advocacy on behalf of their shared patients and communities.

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Acad Pediatr





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MeSH Keywords

Humans; Health Policy; Cooperative Behavior; Pediatricians; Pediatrics; United States; Male; Female; Patient Advocacy; Government


advocacy; experiential learning; faculty development; government relations; policy

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