This week, a group of students from the Idaho College of Osteopathic Medicine (ICOM) joined more than 1,000 of their peers from osteopathic medical schools across the nation for the American Osteopathic Association’s (AOA) DO Day on Capitol Hill.
Osteopathic physicians (DOs) and medical students assembled in Washington D.C. to educate legislators about the impact of osteopathic medicine on health care, in addition to advocating for important healthcare issues. Students in attendance from ICOM included: Makayla Bussman, OMS-III; Chloe Dennis, OMS-I; Heidi Dreher, OMS-IV; Annie Lorelei Hoffman, OMS-I; and Madison Summers, OMS-III.
ICOM students visited the Offices of Rep. Russ Fulcher, Rep. Mike Simpson, Sen. Jim Risch, and Sen. Michael Crapo, to advocate for funding for the Teaching Health Center Graduate Medical Education (THCGME) Program; the Resident Education Deferred Interest (REDI) Act; and the establishment of stable physician payment updates.
“DO Day was an incredible opportunity for medical students to learn how to advocate for healthcare policy. Physician legislators discussed their experiences in politics and provided insight on how we can use our platform to create positive change for our patients and communities at home,” said Annie Lorelei Hoffman, OMS-I and President-Elect of ICOM SOMA. “I am so grateful for the opportunity to have face to face congressional meetings with the Idaho representatives and their aides. We discussed issues currently impacting doctors, and advocated for changes that will improve patient care and our future as practicing physicians. DO Day taught me how to have tactful conversations with legislators and propelled my interest in pursuing a career in healthcare politics.”
Additionally, the U.S. Senate adopted Senate Resolution 162, which designated April 17-23, 2023, as “National Osteopathic Medicine (NOM) Week.” The resolution was adopted by unanimous consent on Tuesday, April 18.