In Reply to Reardon et al
There remains a lack of clarity about health advocacy and physicians, and there is still much work to be done on how to operationalize this concept in medical education.1 Efforts like those described by Dr. Reardon and colleagues will certainly expand our knowledge of this topic. Pursuant to our own research, we look forward to hearing about additional creative solutions for the development of trainees’ health advocate identity. We suggest that such education can be enhanced by leveraging upbringing, schooling, and formative experiences; providing exposure to social injustice; and facilitating trainees’ engagement in health advocacy work through mentors2 and systemic and organizational supports. Indeed, a systemic, collective approach to health advocacy was recently highlighted by Hubinette and colleagues.3 We concur that nurturing competencies for a collective approach to advocacy is necessary, and we look forward to seeing publications on the outcomes of such innovative curricular approaches.
The opportunity to learn from this exchange has been invaluable. It is our hope to foster the growth of this community, whose aim is to support the development of advocacy knowledge and skills among physicians. We hope that our article will contribute to an improved understanding of how health advocacy becomes enacted among physicians who identify as health advocates so as to better prepare educators to teach and evaluate this ambiguous, yet necessary, concept.