ACLT's virtual advocacy experience

Thursday, May 21, 2020

Perhaps you saw our news story last week about the ACLT virtual advocacy day; as it turns out, that was only the beginning!

Over recent weeks participants in the Advocacy in Clinical Leadership Track (ACLT) led by Duke GIM Associate Professor, Dr. Daniella Zipkin, basically became video conferencing pros. Once the residents learned their long-planned trip to Washington, DC, was canceled, this virtual solution demonstrated for the residents just how powerful their voice as physician advocates still can be.

Altogether, there have been four virtual meetings, each with individuals or organizations with considerable societal and health care influence. The first day’s event we reported previously, included the office staff of Senator Tillis and the staff from AAMC. Next, the residents spoke about health disparities and vulnerable communities with Dr. Kirsten Bibbins-Domingo, the inaugural Vice Dean for Population Health and Health Equity in the UCSF School of Medicine. A seminar followed with Duke physician and behavioral scientist, Dr. Peter Ubel, who discussed writing, academic medicine, mentorship, advocacy, and the value of “following your passions”. Between meetings, the residents divided and conquered to review the impact of COVID-19 on vulnerable populations and develop a platform to share. This was the fastest one-pager turnaround time in ACLT history, and all done virtually! The ending to this pinnacle experience concluded with a conversation with health policy staff for Senator Richard Burr of North Carolina, Angela Wiles and Rachel Portman. See the resident's one-page pitch here.

“I honestly wasn’t sure how this would all come together since the context was so rapidly changing. This amazing group of residents pulled off a thoughtful and impactful presentation and learned a lot along the way," said Zipkin.

ACLT Residents

This year's Advocacy in Clinical Leadership Track residents included: 

  • Senior Assistant Residents - Drs. Keva Garg, Alie Mara, Katie Pollard, Tamara Saint-Surin, Anmol Singh, Alex Sullivan, Nancy Yang
  • Med Psych Residents- Drs. Nicole Helmke, Johnny Komisar, Colin Smith, Alyssa Stavig
  • Junior Assistant Residents - Drs. Marius Chukwurah, John Davy, Nathaniel Harris, Cassie Lautredou, Soo Lim, Ahmad Mourad, Cindy Pabon, Bhavik Patel, Maggie Salinger