TIPS program

The AOA TIPS program: What is it and why should I apply?

Applications for the AOA Training in Policy Studies program are now open until Aug. 20, 2023.


When I was a medical student, I developed a love of health policy and advocacy. It was an unexpected trajectory for me, but now I can’t see myself doing anything else within the realm of my career as a family medicine physician. The majority of what I initially learned, however, I learned on my own. As my third year rolled into my fourth year, I learned more about the opportunities available for me to pursue that passion for health policy. Most of those opportunities came from the AOA.

As a family medicine resident, I am still constantly seeking ways to increase my exposure to and strengthen my experience in health policy. This year, as a newly minted third-year resident, one specific opportunity comes to mind: the AOA TIPS program.

Currently open to residents and fellows, the AOA Training in Policy Studies (TIPS) program is a one-year fellowship, generously funded by the American Osteopathic Foundation, designed to give osteopathic physicians the skills they need to analyze, formulate and implement health policy at the local, state and national levels with the purpose of increasing access to affordable, quality health care. TIPS provides its fellows with an understanding of current health care policy issues while also facilitating leadership opportunities.

Fellows gain hands-on experience in policy by attending meetings led by experts, drafting policy briefs and papers, meeting with lawmakers, engaging in interactive training, and attending events that provide leadership and networking opportunities. Those events are a mix of in-person and virtual sessions.

Last year, topics included:

  • An introduction to policy analysis
  • Advancing physician payment reform
  • Addressing high prescription drug prices
  • Access to substance use disorder treatment
  • The regulatory process and providing feedback to federal agencies
  • The federal legislative process and stakeholder mapping
  • Grassroots engagement in the U.S. political system

In addition to participating in sessions throughout the year, fellows will also develop a policy paper to be presented at the end of the program during OMED. This year’s OMED conference will be held from Oct. 6-8 in Orlando, Florida.

TIPS is ideal for residents and fellows who would like to gain more experience in the field of health policy, make a greater impact on policy change and become more active within the osteopathic profession. A really cool thing I learned when I first read about the TIPS program is that some fellows have also continued their policy training by participating in the Health Policy Fellowship program, which has produced over 20 deans and college of osteopathic medicine presidents.

Applications for the 2023-24 TIPS cohort are due by 11:59 p.m. ET on Sunday, Aug. 20, 2023. To learn more about the program or apply, visit the TIPS program landing page.

Related reading:

The DO Day experience: Why advocacy means so much as a physician

Breaking DOwn barriers through advocacy

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