donor of the month
Lance Fuchs, MD, FAAFP is the Family Physicians Political Action Committee (FP-PAC) June Donor of the Month! Dr. Fuchs is a legislative Key Contact, long-time donor and serves as a San Diego delegate for CAFP as well as the co-lead for the San Diego region of the California Residency Network.
Why do you contribute to FP-PAC?
Most family physicians are very busy. We don’t always have time to advocate for ourselves or for our patients. I contribute to the FP-PAC because I know that FP-PAC and our advocacy team are using the contributions to voice the interests of our patients and the interests of Family Physicians to our elected representatives.
What would you say to someone who may be hesitant to contribute to a Political Action Committee?
The Political Action Committee is putting the money to good use. FP-PAC has succeeded in helping elect so many candidates that support family medicine values. This has translated into incredible wins for primary care in California, including: increased funding for residency education, improved patient access to care, raising the tobacco use age and increasing the tobacco tax to help fund health programs and medical care.
Less than five percent of family physicians contribute to FP-PAC. Why should more family physicians contribute?
In politics, if you are not sitting at the table, you are served on the menu. Even though I don’t like how the political system is financed, I understand that those with money have greater access to our elected representatives and can help candidates they support win elected office. If every family physician in California contributed to the FP-PAC, we would be more likely have fair reimbursement for our services. If family physicians were paid similar to our specialist colleagues, then more medical students would select family medicine. We know that in communities with more family physicians, there are lower health care costs and better health outcomes.
Have you ever attended an FP-PAC event or represented FP-PAC at a fundraiser? If so, what did you learn by attending the event?
I have attended FP-PAC events and fundraisers. What I learned is that most politicians want to do the right thing, but they can’t be experts in every area. They depend on information from trusted experts to make important decisions. Physicians and FP-PAC need to be the experts providing the right information and advice to our leaders on how to solve problems in health care.
What was one of the earliest advocacy or PAC activities you undertook in medicine?
When I was a medical student, I was a student delegate to the Pennsylvania Academy of Family Physicians. I helped write and advocate for resolutions representing medical students from all over the state.