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Advocacy Overview

Advocating for issues important to you and your state medical board

The Federation of State Medical Boards (FSMB) is a national non-profit organization representing all state medical and osteopathic boards within the United States and its territories that license and discipline allopathic and osteopathic physicians and, in some jurisdictions, other health care professionals.

The primary responsibility of state medical boards is to protect consumers of health care through the proper licensing and regulation of physicians. Learn more about the important role of state medical boards in our nation’s health care system.

FSMB serves as the voice for state medical boards, supporting them through education, assessment, research and advocacy while providing services and initiatives that promote patient safety, quality health care and regulatory best practices.

Supporting State Medical Boards

FSMB's Advocacy and Policy team supports state medical and osteopathic boards in achieving their legislative initiatives and priorities on the federal and state levels through advocacy, policy development and other services.

Working from offices in Washington, D.C., the FSMB's Advocacy and Policy Department educates legislators and officials from various government agencies on the important roles that state medical boards play in protecting the public. FSMB staff regularly meet with officials from government agencies and Congressional leaders to educate legislators and officials on the function and structure of state medical boards as well as the rationale for state-based regulation of medicine.

The department also promotes FSMB model polices, which are intended to give guidance and encourage consistency among state medical boards in addressing trends in medical practice and regulation in order to protect the public and improve the quality, safety and integrity of health care.

The FSMB also supports state medical boards’ legislative initiatives through the FSMB Advocacy Network – a grassroots organization of state medical board representatives and physicians that seeks to raise awareness about state boards and promote excellence in health care.

Federal Legislative Affairs

FSMB develops and implements strategies for effectively representing the interests of state medical and osteopathic boards before Congress and health administration officials. On behalf of state medical boards, the FSMB:

  • Facilitates congressional contacts for medical boards
  • Monitors congressional hearings and the introduction of federal legislation
  • Interacts with federal agencies
  • Participates in agency-sponsored taskforces

Additionally, the FSMB drafts letters of endorsement and testimonies on behalf of state medical boards on national issues impacting medical regulation.

State Legislative Affairs

At the state level, the FSMB supports state medical boards by:

  • Promoting state legislative agendas and policies, and encouraging dialogue among state medical boards
  • Identifying legislative trends as they develop
  • Drafting correspondence to federal and state officials
  • Drafting and presenting testimony to support member medical boards initiatives or to reinforce opposition to specific legislative initiatives

Additionally, the FSMB tracks legislation of interest to medical boards across the country as it is introduced and addressed by state governments.  Automatically updated every two hours, the tracking system allows users to view legislative activity by issue and to browse bills by state.

Policy Development

The FSMB supports its member boards through policy analysis and development on key issues impacting medical regulation. The FSMB periodically convenes representatives of state medical boards, together with experts in specific subject areas, to study and develop recommendations on issues pertinent to medical regulation.

FSMB’s official public policies are intended to give guidance and encourage consistency among state medical boards in addressing trends in medical practice and regulation in order to protect the public and improve the quality, safety and integrity of health care.