5 Display an ACR advocacy recruitment easel in your office. These tabletop easels contain pre-addressed postcards that patients can mail to the ACR to become involved with our advocacy efforts.
6 Subscribe to the ACR advocacy list serve. Again, go to www.rheumatology.org and select Networking List Serves from the Practice menu. Join the conversation and hear about what others are doing in their communities and states to advance rheumatology’s agenda for better medicine.
7 Cultivate relationships with medical directors in insurance companies your practice interacts with, and serve on insurance company advisory boards.
8 Serve as the rheumatology representative for Medicare’s rheumatology advisory committee when such positions become available.
9 Join the American Medical Association to ensure that rheumatology is represented in this influential advocacy organization.
10 Take a leadership role in your local or state rheumatology society. If there’s not a society for your community, start one.
11 Volunteer for the ACR. The Rheumatologic Care, Government Affairs, Research, and Quality Measures committees, as well as many ARHP committees, all have advocacy functions. There is a particular need to identify younger rheumatologists within their first 10 to 15 years of practice to be sure the ACR effectively represents your perspective.
I ask that you join other dedicated members in advocacy efforts. Engaging in advocacy efforts can take as little as a few minutes of your time, but you can reap so much in return. Do it for our patients, for our profession, and most of all, for yourself.
Dr. Birnbaum is president of ACR. Contact him via e-mail at [email protected].