CanMEDS Health Advocate
Health Care Advocacy and You

Health Care Advocacy and You


Although you are just beginning residency, you can still consider opportunities for electives or internships with advocacy organizations.  Linking with these organizations can feel like a lifeline in the during the seemingly endless days and nights of hospital work.  Many advocates began their interest in advocacy during their medical school or residency years.  James Orbinski, in his book "An Imperfect Offering", writes of his time as a medical student as being instrumental in forming his interest in Medecins sans Frontieres. In this book he eloquently discusses the importance of advocacy when one has witnessed the suffering of others.   Orbinski reinforced this message when giving the keynote address at the 2010 ACP (American College of Physicians) meeting in Toronto.  He spoke about equity in health care and the need for physicians to take effective action. 



In the past (before or during medical school), what activities have you done that you would consider falling into the category of advocacy? What attracted you to these activities?


Does this previous experience in advocacy influence today your work as a physician? How?


Did the Role of Health Advocate influence your decision to pursue medicine as a career? Did you have role models or examples of physicians as advocates that shaped your understanding of what doctors do?