A large group of SCNM students recently attended the D.C. Federal Legislative Initiative (DC FLI) in Washington D.C. DC FLI allows members of the naturopathic medical community to go to Washington and visit with elected representatives. They are able to discuss the future of naturopathic medicine with these elected officials in order to work towards the goals for the profession. DC FLI is a major event for our community because it connects naturopathic doctors and medical students with members of Congress and their staff aides. The support of these elected officials is vital to the continued expansion of naturopathic medicine.
Check out what some of our students had to say about their experience!
“DCFLI was a great opportunity to see legislation in action and directly effect our future as naturopathic physicians. It was a memorable experience and a great networking event, especially if you are looking to move outside of Arizona after graduation. I had a wonderful time and plan on going back next year!”
“Attending DC FLI was an incredible opportunity I plan to take advantage of each year. It was very fulfilling to see legislative aides and even congressmen understand the importance of what you are saying, and being engaged when you are talking about naturopathic medicine! Its extremely humbling as well to realize how many people truly do not know what we do, but seeing how excited they are when you explain what we are capable of in terms of patient care.”
“DCFLI is an event that every student should experience at least once. It highlights all the hard work it entails to license and keep a state licensed. It also helps the student practice their communication skills especially with people who are not familiar with the naturopathic community. Lastly, you are able to build life long friendships from students at other schools who have also attended the event. DCFLI is not only available as a student, but you can keep participating even as a practitioner in order to add your voice to the numerous ones who are passionate about our cause.”
"DCFLI is an experience that I believe every ND student should have. It gets us out, networking with practicing doctors in our field, teaches us how to be more successful with our state associations, helps us see what we can do to keep momentum going, and most importantly teaches us how to speak concisely about our passions in this medicine. I have never felt more confident about speaking to what we do (and do best) than after the FLI. Legislators are normal people despite having offices in DC, and they just happen to have the ability to make judgement calls based on their knowledge (whether that be limited or great) of subjects. They vote on legislature that directly affects our scope of practice in licensed states, ability to become licensed in other states, and our legitimacy as doctors. It's crucial to our survival and futures that we become more involved in this process since it's not going away any time soon!"
“This is my second FLI and I will be going back next year as well. I love being apart of a process that will improve our profession as a whole and learning about the legislative process. This year I think the main take away for me was to join the association of any state you may be interested in and that educating our legislatiors on our profession is critical. For example, one of my meetings was with a Representatives office who thinks our profession has an anti-vaccine stance and focus mainly on homeopathy. While this meeting may not go in favor of our asks it gave a golden opportunity to provide factual information and resources. Who knows maybe he will be our champion on the Hill for our profession. Get involved do not be complacent and wait for things to change or assume they will stay the same!!”
Thank you to everyone that attended this very important event for working to support and further naturopathic medicine.