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EDITORIAL: Candidates Hope to Represent All Arizona Physicians

EDITORIAL: Candidates Hope to Represent All Arizona Physicians
By Dr. Gary Figge, PCMS Board of Directors

We are all aware of how legislative decisions and actions – good or bad – influence how we practice medicine, get paid for the care we provide, as well as get licensed, regulated and scrutinized for the care we provide. This in turn affects our patients’ health, happiness, wellbeing and satisfaction as well as our own happiness and satisfaction as a practicing physician. If all is good, we stay and do what we do best, take care of our patients, but if it’s not good, we leave, as many have left our profession in the last few years, causing a negative effect on patient care and at the very least, reduced access to care for the Arizona population.

Therefore, being involved in the politics and legislation process affecting healthcare is crucial for all physicians. Although this may be critical, it is not the most popular subject for most physicians. If we are not personally active, we need to at least support those in our profession who are actively involved in the politics and advocacy for our craft. Given that, we should in turn support that much more the physician willing to become a legislator at the state or federal level where laws are made affecting so much of what we do in our profession. This is the pinnacle of involvement and commitment to preserving and enhancing healthcare and the practice of medicine, to preserve our ability to best practice medicine and take the best care of our patients, ourselves and our profession.

Dr. Amish Shah is a practicing emergency physician and ArMA member in his third term in the Arizona House. While representing a district in the Phoenix area, he also represents all physicians, patients and our profession in all of Arizona. Dr. Shah is now ready to vacate his state position to move to the federal level and is currently running for U.S. Congress in Legislative District 1. He has worked tirelessly in state politics to improve the lives and health of Arizonans and is willing to try to do the same at the federal level.

There is also another physician running for Congress in this election in Legislative District 4, Dr. Zuhdi Jasser, an ArMA member in private practice in internal medicine. While not currently in the legislature, Dr. Jasser has been very involved in the politics of medicine at the state and federal level through ArMA and the AMA and has testified before Congress on numerous occasions. Thus, like Dr. Shah, he also truly knows what he is in for when they both try to win their elections and represent Arizona physicians in Congress. They both would do an excellent job in protecting the practice of medicine and helping all of us in our profession and the care of our patients.

Another hard reality of politics is the money it takes to run a campaign and win an election and both these Arizona physicians, both ArMA members, deserve and need our support, financially and in any other way we can support them. So, I implore you, sign on to their campaign newsletters and open your wallets to support them and let’s get two outstanding Arizona physicians in Congress nest year.

Gary Figge MD is a member of the Pima County Medical Society Board of Directors and
former Chair of ArMA’s Arizona Medical Political Action Committee (ArMPAC).

PCMS does not endorse candidates.


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