Lindsey Yock serves on the chapter’s Board of Directors, acting as co-chair of MNAAP’s policy committee. She has been an AAP member since 2011 and works at Children’s Minnesota. Dr. Yock answered these questions from Minnesota Pediatrician as part of our quarterly member spotlight.
You’re an attorney and a physician. How do these two roles intersect for you in your work?
I attended the Joint Degree program in Law, Health and the Life Sciences at the University of Minnesota, receiving my law degree in 2008 and my medical degree in 2011. After finishing residency at Mayo, I stayed in Rochester for a year as chief resident. Since 2015, I have been at Children’s Minnesota as both a pediatric hospitalist and an adjunct attorney.
My position consists of clinical work (80%) and assignments through the office of the General Counsel (20%). In my legal role, I am a member of the Institutional Review Board (IRB), where my familiarity with federal regulations can be helpful, and I consult on various initiatives and projects, such as our onsite healthcare-legal partnership and the legal implications of clinical practice guidelines that Children’s develops. This year, on behalf of the Children’s advocacy team, I testified at a hearing at the state capitol in support of a program to reduce childhood hunger.
More informally, these two roles intersect daily on the wards when I’m working with social workers and staff attorneys to address problems that affect vulnerable families, including guardianship and family law matters, immigration status, and landlord-tenant issues.
What does a typical day at Children’s Minnesota look like for you (or just a typical work day)?
When I’m on clinical service, I’m either seeing patients on my own or working with our teaching services, which I love because of the energy, curiosity, and competence of the residents and students who rotate at Children’s.
When I’m not on service, my days are more varied. In addition to preparing for and attending bi-weekly IRB meetings, my days typically involve collaborating with various members of the health system, working independently on projects that I’m responsible for, and occasionally testifying or otherwise speaking about child health issues.
What interests you about your work on the MNAAP policy committee?
University Dean Kathy Watson introduced me to a wonderful quote from physician Rudolf Virchow: “If medicine is to fulfill her great task, then she must enter the political and social life. . . . The physicians are the natural attorneys of the poor.”
The MNAAP policy committee provides a meaningful way to engage in political and social issues that relate to the health and wellbeing of our patients. Through the Chapter, the policy committee, and all the wonderful people who support its advocacy work, we are able to deal directly with legislators and others in state and local government to champion Minnesota’s children. As one example, at the invitation of Representative Frank Hornstein and Senator Scott Dibble, whom I met during MNAAP Peds Day at the Capitol, I provided information and perspective at a MN Congressional District 61 Town Hall in 2017, when Minnesota children were at risk because of possible cuts to Medicaid.
In short, working with the MNAAP policy committee, and as a member of the MNAAP board, I get to consider issues that involve both law and medicine, and I get to contribute to discussions that affect society beyond individual patients.
What is something people might be surprised to learn about you?
Although I’m a lawyer and enjoy debate, I am not temperamentally litigious!
What would a perfect day be like for you?
After the winter we’ve just had, it would start out with low humidity, uninterrupted sunshine and a temperature in the 70s. I would open the newspaper to headlines proclaiming that vaccination rates in the United States are at an all-time high; confidence in science and physician experts is robust; childhood homelessness, food insecurity and socioeconomic disparity have fallen to unmeasurable levels; and every child feels loved and supported and excited about their future. The day would include meaningful work with my excellent colleagues (my current reality). Then it would end with an episode of “Wait Wait . . . Don’t Tell Me!” and wonderful food with loved ones.