On March 4-6 I had the opportunity to attend the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists’ Congressional Leadership Conference in Washington DC along with 400 other doctors from around the country. While it meant four days away from warm Phoenix and my wonderful patients (and six deliveries!!), the experience was extremely important. Seven ob-gyns from Arizona met with the staff for Senators McCain and Flake, and Representatives Sinema, Schweikert, Pastor and Kirkpatrick.
We asked our elected representatives to co-sponsor or propose laws such as the Gestational Diabetes Act, which would pay for a project at the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) to expand public health research on diabetes in pregnancy (gestational diabetes), to help doctors and providers get a better understanding of how to prevent and treat the disease.
We also talked to them about the Training Tomorrow’s Doctors Today Act. Did you know Arizona only has 568 ob-gyns serving 2.5 million women? That is 2.2 doctors for every 10,000 women.
Two counties in our state have no ob-gyns at all!
And some researchers predict that the number of women in Arizona will increase by 60% by 2030 to 4 million. Imagine how difficult it may be to get an appointment in the near future with an ob-gyn! The Training Tomorrow’s Doctors Today Act would set aside money to train 15,000 more doctors around the country who will practice primary care, general surgery and ob-gyn. This will help make sure there are enough doctors to take care of our growing population.
You may wonder why someone who is trained to deliver babies and do pap smears would get involved in politics–more on that in my next post. If I am not an advocate for my patients and my profession, politicians with an agenda that is NOT patient focused will create and pass laws that may interfere with the high quality health care you deserve.
I am hopeful that our state legislators will consider the opinions of obstetrician-gynecologists and other doctors who understand the science and the research evidence, have been to medical school, are taking care of patients!
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