This month, four Marian University College of Osteopathic Medicine (MU-COM) students traveled to Washington, D.C. for D.O. Day on Capitol Hill, an annual event that allows osteopathic medical students to meet with legislators from their local district to discuss current issues regarding America’s healthcare system.
MU-COM students Adam Cassella, Katharyn Downs, Paige Langhals,and Nevin Vijayaraghavan were among 800 other students and doctors of osteopathic medicine (D.O.s) from across the country who participated in the event coordinated by the American Osteopathic Association (AOA).
“The experience in Washington, D.C. taught me a lot about health care policy and gave me valuable insight into the background of the medical profession,” said Vijayaraghavan. “I learned that there are ample opportunities to make your voice heard on a national scale if you pursue the opportunities in front of you.”
Participants advocated for policy that would repeal the Medicare sustainable growth rate (SGR), the creation of more residency training slots, and the establishment of student loan policies to ease the debt burden many osteopathic medical students and DOs carry. Unfortunately, a heavy snow shut down the city and the students were not able to meet directly with legislators. Instead, they used the time to create a short video advocating for themselves and their profession.
While in D.C., they also attended the Student Osteopathic Medical Association’s (SOMA) annual spring convention where they learned more about health care policy and how to advocate for change. They even got the opportunity to vote on resolutions (submitted by students) that, if passed, will go on to the AOA.
“I hope that as MU-COM grows, more of my classmates will take advantage of this chance to make a difference in our profession and we are able to expand our presence at a national level,” said Vijayaraghavan.