This post was contributed by Yasha Parikh, MD, radiology resident at Mount Auburn Hospital in Cambridge, Massachusetts.
Radiologists turned out in force for “Hill Day” at ACR 2019. More than 500 ACR members visited 275 congressional offices to press issues important to radiologists and their patients.
This diverse group of radiology advocates, or #RADvocates, took to social media to share their experiences and encourage others to take part. ACR members and staff shared a number of fun photos showing that it is possible to do our civic duty and have a good time!
#ACRHillDay2019 was actually a trending topic on Twitter in Washington, D.C. May 22 as nearly 300 individual tweets from a variety of ACR members captured the day’s activities and meetings.
Kimberly Beavers, MD, who serves with me on the ACR Social Media Superusers Committee, put together a Wakelet timeline of social media activity related to Hill Day.
Our Massachusetts delegation met with staff from Senator Elizabeth Warren’s office, and discussed the ACR’s position on surprise billing, the Patient Access for Lifesaving Screening (PALS) Act, Resident Education Deferred Interest (REDI) Act and Medicare Access to Radiological Care Act (MARCA). The staff member who met with us listened intently as we discussed each topic and asked us relevant questions to help his understanding of the importance of these topics. We emphasized the relevance of these bills for our patients, and as physicians, our duty to do right by them. Later in the day, we met with staff in the office of Congressman Stephen Lynch. I personally advocated for MARCA and PALS, which aligned perfectly with my passion for women’s health. Overall, the staff of our Massachusetts officials were very receptive and engaging as we discussed issues important to radiology and patient care.
While meeting with our legislators was rewarding in and of itself, banding together with the residents from all over Massachusetts was an exciting experience that I otherwise would never have had. Residents were split up based on our home address, not hospital address, which allowed us to get to know residents from other programs. We created a sense of camaraderie that I hope all residents experienced on Capitol Hill Day.
If you come to the ACR annual meeting, I can’t encourage you enough to join us for Hill Day.
We can make a difference by making our cases directly to our elected officials, building relationships with peers that may last a lifetime and having a lot of fun.
I left Hill Day, and the annual meeting, feeling inspired, motivated and ready for the year ahead – and with new relationships with mentors, mentees and legislators.
I look forward to seeing you at ACR 2020!