Our country’s political climate has changed dramatically this year. As healthcare providers, we’re powerful leaders in our communities and across the country. When faced with times of injustice, activism becomes a responsibility. It becomes vital for us to not only advocate for our patients and future patients, but also raise awareness for policies that affect our healthcare system and providers.
D.O. Day on the Hill is an annual event that the American Osteopathic Association puts together for osteopathic medical students, physicians, and other healthcare advocates. Each participant speaks with their senators and representatives within their voting district. This is a really exciting opportunity to connect with policy makers.
Legislators remember the day when thousands of white coats visit Capitol Hill!
The most pressing issue facing our profession has been health care reform, however House Speaker Ryan was unable to get enough votes to pass the American Health Care Act on March 24th, leaving the Affordable Care Act intact. Yet, there is still much to talk about. Funding for The Teaching Health Centers Graduate Medical Education residency programs in underserved and rural communities is vulnerable this year. With Congress cutting funding for smaller programs across the country, it is even more important to speak up. This program supplies 750 residency spots across 64 sites and is estimated to provide 1 million primary care patient visits in 2017.
I remember going to D.O. Day on The Hill as a bright eyed second year medical student in 2006, and 11 years later I’m back as a proud Osteopathic physician with a powerful voice. I encourage you all to get involved in politics and let your voice be heard!
Follow my instagram and snapchat stories to watch all my adventures on The Hill!
This article was also published on Medelita’s community blog.