Creating Change in Family Medicine

The National Conference of Constituency Leaders (NCCL) is a leadership and policy development event by the American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP) that provides underrepresented members (like women, minorities, new physicians, international medical graduates and LGBT physicians) a venue to develop leadership skills, share experiences, voice the perspective of their constituencies and write resolutions that will help guide the future of the AAFP.

This year’s NCCL is coming up April 25-27, 2019, in Kansas City, Missouri. MAFP member Amanda Meegan, MD, shares about her experience with last year’s NCCL and why she’s heading back in 2019.

Prior to NCCL, I had never been involved in legislative or policy work. I had scant knowledge of AAFP policies, or what my professional organization stood for. However, given the current political climate, I had become eager to do more. I was able to attend the NCCL in 2018 as chapter delegate representing the LGBT constituency, one of the five constituencies of underrepresented voices within the AAFP.

I showed up in Kansas City knowing little about the NCCL, the rules of order and the various roles everyone played. It was exciting and a bit overwhelming! I was out of my comfort zone. But, I was quickly immersed and welcomed into a passionate group of family physicians from around the country eager to create change within the AAFP.

Throughout the conference, I learned how to craft resolutions that were important to NCCL attendees. I sat in on reference committees and provided support for resolutions that would later become AAFP policy or recommendations for the AAFP to support. There were resolutions put forth advocating the AAFP to support equal pay for women and minority physicians, comprehensive sex education starting in elementary school, educational opportunities and research about implicit bias in medicine and the availability of free menstrual hygiene products at all AAFP office and events.

Now, I am able to browse policies and past resolutions on the AAFP website that my NCCL colleagues and I helped create.

I am eager to get back to Kansas City this April for NCCL 2019. I feel fortunate to be a part of an organization that supports the voices and ideas of ALL their members.

If you have an interest in learning how to craft policy and are looking for a way to make an impactful change within the AAFP, consider attending NCCL in the future, either as a general registrant or chapter delegate.

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Post author: Amanda Meegan, MD, member

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