In my time as a CIR member I have learned that our perspectives as new physicians are valuable and that residents are the vehicle of change in the world of medicine. The CIR platform is an excellent, validating tool that allows us, as motivated health care providers, to define our roles in this health care system, rather than having our roles defined for us.
I would most like to expand on the community projects that CIR has started. These projects have several benefits:
- They are an excellent way to demonstrate the diverse impact that residents have on the greater health of the communities that we care for.
- They raise the profile of the importance of resident physicians in those communities
- They are able to provide a refreshing, out of hospital networking opportunity to residents.
All of CIR’s core values—advocacy, service, learning and community connection—are intertwined. Physician communities grow stronger when physicians across specialties interact. Learning happens by default during these interactions and these interactions frequently take place in settings of advocacy and service.
As a CIR Regional VP, I will stress the importance of resident physician involvement in both regional and national government activities and decision-making. My recent lobbying trip to Albany on behalf of CIR and PNHP was eye-opening and it allowed me to advocate for both my co-residents and my patients at the same time. I also spent time with future medical professionals across New York and I have several lasting, beneficial connections from that trip. As physicians, our testimony to the politicians that represent us and our patients is incredibly valuable. If we are silent and uneducated about these issues and policy changes, we would be attempting to practice medicine in a vacuum, disconnected from others in our trade, with rules that impact medicine made by non-medical people. These people, these politicians, and the policies they create are much better informed after conversations with resident physicians. Additionally, resident physicians gain from these interactions by having influence on those same policies. Political activism is too important for us to allow others to advocate on our behalves. As resident physicians, we have a unique opportunity to speak “from the trenches” and connect the voices from the community with our own to encourage better health policy and regulations. Together, we can enact this change. I look forward to being a part of this as your CIR Regional VP.