Objective: To discuss and reflect upon the role of medical practitioners, including psychiatrists, as health advocates on behalf of patients, carers and staff. Conclusions: Health advocacy is a key professional competency of medical practitioners, and is part of the RANZCP framework for training and continuing professional development. Since advocacy is often a team activity, there is much that is gained experientially from volunteering and working with other more experienced health advocates within structurally and financially independent (of health systems and governments) representative groups (RANZCP, AMA, unions). Doctors may begin with clinically proximate advocacy for improved healthcare in health systems, across the public and private sectors. Health advocacy requires skill and courage, but can ultimately influence systemic outcomes, sway policy decisions, and improve resource allocation.
- healthcare advocacy
- medical practitioner