On October 21st, Renee Peters took the time to meet with a couple of us from the UCD PT program to share her experiences and offer advice as we prepare for the upcoming Sunsetting of our practice act.
Renee had the opportunity to travel to Washington DC last spring and participate in the APTA Federal Advocacy Forum & Capital Hill Day. She recommends Ellen Caruso and Betsy Murray as our best resources to stay updated on current issues and to advise us on the best ways to take action. When meeting with legislators, Renee's advice is to be clear and succinct, and personalize the message: be memorable. Nearly everyone has an experience with PT - either personally or through family. Use legislators experiences to demonstrate why the bill you are asking them to support is important. Perhaps the most important consideration when meeting with legislators is to make it clear that what you are fighting for will serve the public: legislators aren't concerned with turf wars—make a clear link to public protection.
In preparation for future events, we discussed brainstorming clear and concise answers to common questions such as “what is a PT” and “why is it a DPT?” that engulf the full scope of PT practice, from pediatrics to geriatrics, in a few short sentences. In the near future, we plan to contact the Regis PT program to combine our efforts as a community of student PT advocates.