The Medical Society of Virginia (MSV) has sponsored WHITE COAT DAY for a number of years. Rather than having a large contingent of physicians on a single day as done in the past, physicians of different specialties attend the legislative session for multiple days. This multi day participation plan also increases access to the legislators.
On Jan. 29, 2013, Plastic Surgeons, Helena Guarda, MD, FACS, Suffolk, VA., Henry Wilson, MD, FACS, Lynchburg, VA., George Hoerr, MD, FACS, Norfolk, VA and John Alspaugh, MD, FACS, Virginia Beach, visited the State’s Senators and Representatives. We were guided in the process by James Pickral, lobbyist for the VASPS, as well as representatives of the MSV. We had the opportunity to meet and speak to Russell Libby, MD, President of the MSV about some our concerns as a Society with physician practice drift and scope of practice.
The legislative process is a very complex process. A large number of diverse groups, all with a message to share with the legislators, were there. The hallways were crowded with groups and individuals making their way to legislator’s offices.
I believe that our presence there was useful not only for providing us the opportunity to voice our views specific to the interest of Plastic Surgeons in Virginia but also to show we were interested parties, willing to take our time to participate in the process and learn a little bit about the machinations of the process. By being there in support of MSV’s “White Coat Day” we, as Plastic Surgeons, stood with other physicians in the state of Virginia in support of issues that affect Physicians.