Student Doctors at the Idaho College of Osteopathic Medicine connected with Idaho legislators during the College’s third annual “ICOM Day at the Capitol” event on Tuesday, March 1.
ICOM President, Dr. Tracy Farnsworth, and ICOM Dean, Dr. Thomas Mohr, joined the students at the statehouse. Organized by ICOM’s chapter of the Student Osteopathic Medical Association (SOMA), the group spoke with legislators from around the Gem State about graduate medical education, health care issues, and Idaho’s chronic physician shortage.
Student Doctor Makayla Bussman, President of ICOM SOMA, said this day of advocacy provided participants with a behind-the-scenes look at the state’s legislative process, as well as a platform to discuss important topics with lawmakers.
“Advocacy Day encouraged and inspired me to be a better advocate and leader for my profession and patients. It was a great reminder that our voices are influential,” Student Doctor Bussman said. “As future physicians, we must stay educated and updated on healthcare legislation and policies to ensure we are best advocating for our patients and peers. I appreciated everyone’s engagement and efforts throughout the day. This made Advocacy Day a huge success.”
After mingling with legislators on the first floor of the rotunda, the group had the opportunity to visit the Senate Gallery, where they were recognized by the legislative body. They also met with Rep. Fred Wood (R-Burley) who is the only medical doctor in the Idaho Legislature. He also serves as Chairman of the Idaho House Health and Welfare Committee.
The group capped off the day with a visit to the Governor’s Ceremonial Office, where they had the opportunity to speak with Governor Brad Little.