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donor of the month

Sheila Attaie, DO is the Family Physicians Political Action Committee (FP-PAC) October Donor of the Month! A self-described "bright-eyed, bushy-tailed intern," Dr. Attaie cut her advocacy teeth by attending the 2017 and 2018 All Member Advocacy Meeting and Lobby Day activities. She looks forward to continuing to get more involved with FP-PAC and as a Key Contact. “Even as an intern, every time we educate, treat and document in the EMR, there is an opportunity to advocate for patient health on a micro level. The FP-PAC is my opportunity (and yours!) to advocate on a macro level.”




Why do you contribute to FP-PAC?


I donate to the FP-PAC for the same reasons that led many of us into Family Medicine. I want to participate in the Family Medicine Revolution in the United States and be on the front lines of medicine. I am a bright-eyed, bushy-tailed intern, with a very real fear of developing complacency and becoming jaded. Each day we spend in the health care system, we encounter and endure the obstacles of health care access and delivery we wish could be different, optimized or efficient. The infamous "burnout" looms overhead and we watch our patients suffer through a system that no longer serves their best interests. We vent about it in clinic, on rounds, at meetings and at conferences. So what can we do with this frustration? We can help invoke change by donating to the FP-PAC! The PAC is a highly competent, driven, forward-thinking and selfless group of human beings fighting every day for the health care system we dream about but do not have the time or skill to change.



What would you say to someone who may be hesitant to contribute to a Political Action Committee?


If you have the time, skill, experience and determination to spend thousands of hours reviewing legislation, research and developing relationships with local and state legislative offices, then great! I, however, do not. And if like me, you don’t possess this skill BUT you want to remain active in the community and California as a physician or future physician, contributing to FP-PAC is a fantastic way to ensure individuals can continue to fight the good fight on our behalf. It can be $5 or $5000. Every dollar counts and every donation provides FP-PAC with validation and support in the hard work they do every day.



Less than five percent of family physicians contribute to FP-PAC. Why should more family physicians contribute?


Mutual Altruism! Family medicine physicians work tirelessly. We address every organ system, every social determinant of health and every family member. We can continue to chug along, barely get by in a broken system OR we can accomplish change together! Regardless of your political party, access to health care and health care efficiency and efficacy are an overarching value for family medicine physicians and FP-PAC.



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 several CAFP events where FP-PAC is also present and active. The AMAM conference is where I first learned of FP-PAC and the specific projects they were working on behind the scenes. I have a vivid memory of sitting in the audience listening to CAFP and FP-PAC’s accomplishments and thinking, “Wow, I wish I was that awesome, but thank goodness someone is because now health care has a chance.”



What was one of the earliest advocacy/PAC activities you undertook in medicine?


I attended the All Members Advocacy Meeting in 2017 and 2018 and was able to attend Lobby Day in 2018 where we spent the day at the Capitol meeting with our respective legislators. I think advocacy really happens every day in clinic and at the hospital as well. With every admission and discharge there is an opportunity to ensure access to follow up, social services, mental health care and affordable prescriptions.