Student Advocacy

Virtual Hill Day 2017: Lobbying for GME and the Higher Education Act

AACOM has provided resources for student participation, making it easier than ever to make your voice heard.


The American Association of Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine (AACOM) joined forces Wednesday, March 8 with osteopathic medical students and faculty for a Virtual Hill Day in Washington.

Graduate medical education policy and the reauthorization of the Higher Education Act were the focus of interactions with legislators as the profession’s emerging leaders advocated for the future of the DO workforce. Participants who were unable to storm the Hill by foot put their fingertips to work, persuading legislators by sending emails, flooding social media feeds, and calling representatives directly.

“As medical students, we tend to focus on just our classes or rotations. But it is equally important for us to take part in the legislative process when it directly affects issues such as graduate medical education and student debt. COM Day provides us with a chance to make our voices heard and to advocate for ourselves and our patients,” says Harika Kantamneni, OMS-IV, from the University of Pikeville-Kentucky College of Osteopathic Medicine.

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Virtual resources are available from ED to MED, AACOM’s larger national grassroots advocacy campaign that gathers and delivers policies that impact osteopathic medical students and schools. Resources include:

ED to MED helps the osteopathic education community stay involved in policy discussions long after Virtual Hill Day.

“AACOM’s Virtual Hill Day provides osteopathic medical students with a unique opportunity to advocate alongside our peers in Washington, DC. Using our social media influence by sending tweets, snaps, or Facebook posts to our legislators, we can campaign for causes that will affect us and our nation’s health care infrastructure for years to come,” says Owais Durrani, OMS-III, from the Oklahoma State University Center of Health Sciences College of Osteopathic Medicine in Tulsa.

Educating Congress about the impact of policy on medical education helps secure the future of health care for physicians and patients. Those who aren’t in Washington are encouraged to make their voice heard on social media. Sharing personal stories with pictures and videos can help grab legislators’ attention. Join the movement.

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