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AMPAC Hosts 2012 Campaign School

With the sluggish economy and high gas prices firmly in the minds of voters, incumbent Republican Congressman George Peabody looks to fend off a strong challenge from Democratic State Senator Geoffrey Sherman in the 2012 election for the 15th Congressional District in the State of Euphoria. This “campaign” formed the back drop for AMPAC’s annual Campaign School, held April 18-22 in Pentagon City, Va.

Thirty attendees included 19 physicians, 4 medical students, 3 state medical society staffers and 4 spouses. The participants hailed from Arkansas, California, Connecticut, the District of Columbia, Florida, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Nebraska, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Washington and Wyoming.

The School is AMPAC’s annual training program for AMA member physicians, students, state medical society staff and spouses who want to learn how to make an impact on a political campaign. The School is built around a simulated Congressional campaign, and participants are broken into teams and work for the Republican or Democratic “candidate” to build a strategy and vote goals, record radio ads, write fundraising letters, and deliver surrogate speeches.  The School is led by a faculty of political experts from both sides of the aisle.

A new addition this year was a press conference exercise, where each team was notified of a controversy/crisis affecting the campaign, and had to quickly (within an hour) write a press release and prepare for a press conference that dealt with the crisis and attempted to keep the campaign on its message.

At a "press conference" for "Peabody for Congress," team members (l to r) Deepak Azad, MD (Indiana), Paul Edelman (Massachusetts), Will Barnett (NC), Julia Edelman, MD (Massachusetts), and Josh Gapp, MD (Tennessee) respond to a developing controversy in the campaign.

The School was highly rated by the participants: 90% of the attendees gave the overall program a score of 10 on a scale of 1 to 10, and 97% of the attendees gave the program a score of 9 or higher.  Among the remarks of the participants in their evaluations of the School:

As always, we would like to thank our exceptionally talented group of attendees and faculty for another great Campaign School!

Applications are now being accepted for the 2013 AMPAC Political Education Programs here. The Campaign School will be held April 17-21, 2013 and the Candidate Workshop will be held February 15-17; both programs will be held in Pentagon City, VA, very close to Reagan National Airport (DCA). AMPAC covers all costs except transportation for AMA members, their spouses and state medical society staffers. For more information, please contact Jim Wilson, Manager of Political Education Programs.