Policy & Advocacy

The Department of Family Medicine and Community Health supports and encourages the essential role family medicine physicians play as advocates for their patients, community, and profession. These skills are taught longitudinally throughout the residency experience and highlighted in the following educational programs.

PDF icon Opportunities for residents to engage

Community Health Course

All residents attend the Community Health course, which highlights the impacts that historical and current policies have on the social determinants of health in our communities. It emphasizes ways family medicine physicians can partner with communities to promote and enhance health. The course culminates with an afternoon of advocacy in which residents explore ways to engage in community and legislative advocacy.

Resident Advocacy Cohort

Resident Advocacy Cohort Logo

Senior residents have the opportunity to enroll in the Resident Advocacy Cohort, which meets monthly for one year. Each session, participants learn new advocacy skills and apply them to an issue that is important to family medicine physicians and their communities. Skills taught include using social media, engaging with legislators, writing a resolution and op-ed, and participating in philanthropy.

Read more about the Resident Advocacy Cohort in this article.

Implicit Bias in the Search and Selection Process - Online Course

Sept. 3 or Sept. 10
9 - 11 a.m. via Zoom
Sponsored by the UMN Department of Family Medicine and Community Health and Office for Equity and Diversity. Faculty, residents, and staff attend in preparation for the fellow and resident application/interview season. 
This workshop will expose participants to the breadth of implicit bias research and will help them recognize shortcuts that are the result of unconscious or unexamined bias. Participants will learn promising practices and resources for addressing implicit bias in the context of search and selection processes.  
Questions? Contact Laura Pham, fmrp@umn.edu or 612-626-0194. 
Looking for another date/time?  

Advocacy Resources

Students, residents, and faculty are encouraged to engage with the University of Minnesota, the Minnesota Academy of Family Physicians (MAFP) and the American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP), and the Society of Teachers of Family Medicine (STFM), as well as through community partners to engage in advocacy.

Advocacy 101

AAFP Advocacy Toolkit 
MAFP Advocacy Blog
MAFP Advocacy Page
MMA Advocacy Action Center 
STFM Free Advocacy Modules


NY Times Option: Tips for Aspiring Op-Ed Writers
UMN Editorial Style Guide
Writing Effective Op-Eds (Duke Communicator Toolkit)

Letter to the editor

Tips on Writing a Letter to the Editor (ACLU)
Writing Letters to the Editor (University of Kansas)

Contacting your representatives

How to contact your state representatives
AAFP Speak Out

Social media guidelines

Social Media Strategy and Best Practices (UMN University Relations)
Twitter: Getting Started
Social Media Guidelines & Best Practices (UMN Medical School)

Track legislation (state)

AAFP State Advocacy Tracker
MN State Legislature Bill Finder and Tracker