After an exhilarating DO Day, your osteopathic spirit is flying higher than ever. To keep the flame burning, here are three ways you can engage in advocacy opportunities year-round.
Step 1: Be aware of the issues that affect your community
“Medical school can be a bubble,” Krishna Patel, OMS I, says. “Just actively knowing what’s going on in your community, it starts from the ground up. DC is the end point for every state, for every town. Get in touch with your local representatives, know what issues affect your own community, and write letters or emails. Knowing what’s going on makes you very knowledgeable, and knowledge is power.”
Step 2: Engage with SOMA
Getting involved with the advocacy arm of your local SOMA chapter or starting one will allow you to collaborate with like-minded students. Authoring resolutions for the SOMA House of Delegates that encourage the AOA to take a position on a certain issue is another way to get involved.
“With SOMA we’re able to start the process locally of writing resolutions that can get passed on to the AOA, that the AOA can take further,” Janae Fry, OMS II, says.
Follow SOMA Politics on Twitter to stay updated on information about policy issues and potential advocacy opportunities for students.
Step 3: Join local and state osteopathic groups to advocate year-round
“Keeping the flame alive throughout the year can sometimes seem like a challenge, but it’s simpler than you think,” Charles Lopresto, OMS II, says. “There’s a lot of opportunities at the county level, at the state level, state osteopathic medical societies, state medial societies, they all have physician lobbying days. And they all also probably have opportunities for students to get involved. Often times these county societies or these state societies don’t have student representation. If you’re a student who’s looking to get involved throughout the year, reach out to your county society, reach out to your state society, and say, ‘Hey, I’m interested in advocacy.’”