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Dr. Caleb Butts, a surgery resident at the University of South Alabama College of Medicine, recently received a scholarship to attend the American College of Surgeons 2014 Leadership Conference and Advocacy Summit.
The four-day symposium included several activities and kicked off with a discussion about surgeons as leaders within the operating room, hospital, city, state, and country. The following two days were dedicated to developing advocacy skills for the field of surgery when working with legislators and lobbyists to promote the interests of patients, hospitals, and the medical career of surgery.
“The final day allowed us to actually visit the U.S. Capitol to lobby to our state's senators and congressman on behalf of several important policies to ensure access to quality care for those in the state of Alabama and throughout the region,” Dr. Butts said.
According to Dr. Butts, there were more than 160 residents who applied and only 40 were selected.
“This award, and what I learned at this conference, was instrumental in allowing me to develop my interests for advocacy and surgeon leadership,” said Dr. Butts. “I got to work with legislators to educate them about important legislation that will dramatically impact patients, their care, and physicians in our region.”
He said that the practices encouraged by the conference are making and have already made a difference in the South Alabama region.
“Due in part to lobbyist efforts, our district's congressman, Representative Bradley Byrne, signed on as a co-sponsor to a very important piece of legislation that will decrease some of the costs associated with frivolous malpractice lawsuits,” said Dr. Butts. “This kind of effort, a ‘redress of grievances’ that is protected by our Constitution, is vital in working with our lawmakers for the betterment of health care in our region and across the country.”
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