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D.O. Day On The Hill: Why Politics Matters In Healthcare

Our country’s political climate has changed dramatically this year. As healthcare providers, we’re powerful leaders in our communities and across the country. When faced with a time of injustice, activism becomes a responsibility.  It becomes vital for us to not only advocate for our patients and future patients, but also policies that affect our healthcare system and providers.

D.O. Day on the Hill is an annual event that the American Osteopathic Association (AOA) puts together for osteopathic medical students, physicians, and other healthcare advocates.  Each participant speaks with their senators and representatives within their voting district.  This is a really exciting opportunity to connect with policy makers.  

Legislators remember the day when thousands of white coats visit Capitol Hill!

The most pressing issue facing our profession has been healthcare reform; however Congress was unable to get enough votes to pass the American Health Care Act (AHCA) on March 24th, leaving the Affordable Care Act intact.  Yet there is still much to talk about.

Funding for The Teaching Health Centers Graduate Medical Education (THCGME) residency programs in underserved and rural communities is vulnerable this year. With legislators cutting funding for smaller programs across the country, it is even more important to speak up.  This program supplies 750 residency spots across 64 sites and is estimated to provide 1 million primary care patient visits in 2017.

I attended D.O. Day On The Hill as a second year medical student in 2006, and 11 years later I’m back as a proud Osteopathic physician attending with a powerful voice.

-Roozehra Khan, DO

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[The opinions expressed in this article are the author's own and do not necessarily reflect the views of Medelita]