Why grassroots advocacy matters

The American Academy of Dermatology Association’s Washington, D.C., office works closely with federal and state officials and their staff. Undoubtedly you have received email updates, read articles in Dermatology Advocate and Dermatology World, or logged onto AAD.org to be updated about these efforts. But what you may not know is that the Academy’s Washington, D.C., influence is only as strong as its most vocal members.

As experts in public health policy, dermatologists are uniquely situated to have a profound effect on the decisions that Congress makes.

According to a 2011 survey by the Congressional Management Foundation, 97 percent of congressional staff say that in-person visits from constituents have an influence on the member, and 88 percent say that personalized emails also influence the decisions their office staff makes. See the chart below for more information about how important different methods of communication from constituents are to lawmakers.

As physicians, members of the AADA are not merely constituents; you are experts who represent not only yourselves, but your profession, other physicians, and, most importantly, your patients.