The opportunity to attend the Federal Advocacy Forum has really helped me understand the value of advocating for our profession. Prior to attending the forum, I am embarrassed to say that I knew very little about the government, lobbying, and passing legislature. I didn’t even know the names of my state senators and house representative. While I am by no means an expert now, I feel that I have made significant gains in my knowledge of government affairs.
First of all, I was able to learn more about the issues we face as a profession and what we can do about it. The opioid crisis is a huge topic of discussion and PTs can help! Educating our members of Congress about the role we as PTs can play in helping to address the opioid epidemic was a powerful experience. Especially as a student, it can be very intimidating talking to members of Congress. However, I realized how much I know and can speak to these issues. We are experts in this field and it is so important to educate lawmakers on why we matter, why PT matters. I realized that if we don’t advocate for what we need and what our patients need, no one else will.
Additionally, the forum is a great way to meet mentors in the field and network with other members of the PT profession. I had the opportunity to engage in conversation with PTs who have been attending the FAF for 20+ years. Getting to hear their insights and stories about the changes they have seen in the profession over time was very inspiring. Hopefully, I can reflect back in 20 years and see the ways my advocacy has helped advance the PT profession.
Laura Bosshard, SPT
St. Catherine University DPT Program