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Published 3/1/2016
Chad Krueger, MD; Stacie Monroe

Introducing the 'Bring-a-Buddy' Program

Advocacy is easier when there are two
Do you want to get more involved in advocacy efforts but are unsure of where to start? Are you interested in attending an upcoming local event for your congressional representative, but feel a little intimidated about going by yourself? Are you anxious about fitting in?

These are common scenarios faced by novices to advocacy efforts. Unfortunately, they may also deter individuals from becoming involved in advocacy altogether. But the American Association of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS) Political Action Committee (Orthopaedic PAC) can help ease the path to advocacy involvement.

The "Bring-a-Buddy" program is designed to encourage participation of orthopaedic residents and young orthopaedic staff in the political efforts of the Orthopaedic PAC and advocacy in general. The premise of the program is quite simple: Pair an AAOS member with experience in advocacy and fundraising events with someone who is just beginning to be involved. The younger member would not be expected to pay the normal fee to attend the fundraiser, but would simply attend, engage, and learn.

This program is focused on improving the participation of resident and candidate members of the AAOS within their local political scenes. It will provide younger AAOS members with opportunities to gain hands-on experience with advocacy, political fundraising, and building relationships with elected officials on local, state, and national levels. It will also provide more experienced AAOS members with new contacts in their areas.

What"s required?
If you want to get more involved in advocacy and health policy efforts and you meet the following criteria, this program is for you!

  • You want to learn about AAOS political efforts and contribute to the Orthopaedic PAC through active involvement in advocacy events.
  • You are willing to demonstrate a long-term commitment by encouraging others to participate in AAOS advocacy activities over the course of your career.
  • You can communicate and engage other residents and fellows about the importance of involvement in the political process through professional advocacy efforts.

As part of the program, each participant will be asked to write a 500-word article, with an accompanying photo, about his or her experience at the advocacy event. These articles may appear in an AAOS publication, such as AAOS Advocacy Now or AAOS Now. Participants may also be asked to collaborate in future projects.

Those interested in becoming advocacy mentors should contact the Orthopaedic PAC vie email (pac@aaos.org). Staff can help you contact younger orthopaedic surgeons in your area who may be interested in attending an upcoming event.

For more information on the Orthopaedic PAC, visit www.aaos.org/pac

Chad Krueger, MD, is the first recipient of the AAOS PAC fellowship. He can be reached at cak0705@gmail.com

Stacie Monroe is the political affairs manager in the AAOS office of government relations.