Member of the Month: Linda Siy, MD
Fort Worth FP chairs TAFP Political Action Committee
Linda Siy, MD, of Fort Worth chairs the TAFP Political Action Committee Board of Trustees. She is a former TAFP president, she serves as a delegate to AAFP’s Congress of Delegates, and she’s an active participant in the Academy’s committees, commissions, and sections. Dr. Siy is a passionate advocate for patients and physicians across the state of Texas and she has been previously recognized as Member of the Month.
In this special TAFPPAC edition of Member of the Month, Siy explains how the Academy’s political action committee amplifies the voice of TAFP members, breaks down common misconceptions TAFP members have about TAFPPAC, and shows us how advocacy at every level can influence and strengthen the #FMRevolution.
How did you begin working in advocacy after you became a physician?
My leadership training in TAFP introduced me to the importance of advocacy and gave me the skills needed to actually speak to legislators about issues of importance to us as family physicians.
What does advocacy mean to you?
Advocacy means carrying the message on behalf of our patients and colleagues on issues which impact our everyday lives and practices. It’s the ability to tell the stories of our issues in ways that reach those who can effect legislative change.
Why is TAFPPAC important?
The TAFPPAC enables us to increase our spheres of influence, and help elect family-medicine-friendly legislators who will help carry the water for us in Austin.
What do you find most fulfilling about your TAFPPAC work?
Seeing in colleagues their fires being stoked by realizing how important our advocacy efforts are, and witnessing their “conversion” to PAC membership. I wish this happened more! Also seeing a candidate we support win an election.
Why is it important for family medicine physicians to participate in advocacy?
We are stronger together than apart. The more we are able to band together, the more we can accomplish. Our voices are louder, and we become a force of change. Most legislators have a personal physician, or at least they know one, and we can hold a position of influence with them as well as with our other patients. I think we underestimate our ability to influence others in this regard.
What are the most memorable changes you have seen take place through advocacy?
Tort reform, of course, was a major victory for Texans. Success in passing a creative loan repayment program was also a win. Our negotiations with nurse practitioners resulted in a better outcome for our patients and members. But more importantly, I think our advocacy efforts have helped prevent a lot of bad legislation.
What do you think people get wrong about TAFPPAC?
A lot of members think their dues dollars go to the PAC or pay for the PAC. By law, this is not the case. The PAC is strictly voluntary by our members, and the money raised by the PAC is not used to pay for our lobbying efforts in Austin. It is used to support the campaigns of the candidates we deem to be a friends to us and who care about our patients’ concerns.
My hope is that our members will consider PAC contributions to be equally important to their membership dues. Time after time, we know our members value the advocacy efforts of the TAFP and the PAC is instrumental in that effort. I hope we, as members, are willing to support that priority by becoming members of the PAC!
TAFP’s Member of the Month program highlights Texas family physicians in TAFP News Now and on the TAFP website. We feature a biography and a Q&A with a different TAFP member each month and his or her unique approach to family medicine. If you know an outstanding family physician colleague who you think should be featured as a Member of the Month or if you’d like to tell your own story, nominate yourself or your colleague by contacting TAFP by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at (512) 329-8666. View past Members of the Month here.