FMCC Lobby Day Tips

Thank you for helping the American Academy of Family Physicians and the Council of Academic Family Medicine bring family medicine’s message to Capitol Hill.  These meetings will allow us to advocate for family doctors and their patients. 

Before You Go

  • Know your legislators’ party affiliation, Committee membership, leadership positions, voting record on key issues, and pertinent personal information.
  • Familiarize yourself with the talking points and the fact sheets to drop off during your meeting.
  • If it is a team visit, select a team leader who will handle introductions and opening remarks (if anyone on the team is a constituent of the legislator, that person should probably be leader), then discuss and agree on who will present what information.  
  • Know the facts, both in favor of and in opposition to your position. 

The Meeting

  • Wear business attire and comfortable shoes.
  • Security screening can be time-consuming. Don’t bring anything you can’t carry on a plane. 
  • Be on time. Legislators and staff can be scheduled every 15 minutes. Don’t miss your window.
  • Be patient. Lawmakers and their staff don’t control their schedule and can be called away for votes or delayed in Committee. 
  • Don’t forget to leave your business card. If your practice or institution does not allow you to participate in advocacy, bring business cards that identify you and your home address.
  • Be respectful to staff. Meetings with staff can be critical to our advocacy. Staff members generally are very familiar with policy and legislative details and must stay well informed for advising the legislator. If discussing a specific bill, know the bill number, title, key sponsors, and the bill’s contents. Present the facts in an orderly, concise and positive manner. 
  • Get to the point quickly and stay on message using a local or personal anecdote for support.  Deliver your message from a patient care point of view with a local or state angle if possible.
  • Leave time to ask for any reaction to your recommendations and request.
  • If you can’t answer a specific question, please don’t guess. Say that you and the AAFP or CAFM government relations staff will look into it and respond promptly. Make sure you let us know of any questions you want us to answer.
  • If the staff person says he or she needs to talk with the legislator about your request, ask if you can check back in a week. Then, remember to check back.
  • Leave the blue folder containing family medicine issue papers with the legislator or the staff for their further review.

Follow Up

  • Fill out your meeting report(aafp.capwiz.com). This will help AAFP and CAFM government relations staff follow up on any concerns raised by the legislator or staffer.
  • Send a quick e-mail to thank the legislators and staff with whom you met.  Your message should reiterate your key points and can include an answer to any particular questions they had during the meeting. Be sure to provide any information that was promised.