By Mary-Lynn Bender, AACOM Interim Vice President of Government and Public Relations
We are excited to celebrate National Doctors’ Day on March 30 by taking time to recognize the current and future physicians who contribute to the health of individuals and communities around the world. This is a day to highlight physicians’ valuable work and reflect on the importance of advocating for federal policies and programs that allow medical students to achieve their dreams of helping patients. Join us in shining a light on the ED to MED advocates who have committed to helping others.
“I always had a dream, now, I had a passion.”
Many student advocates join the ED to MED community because they have a passion to help the underserved as well as their fellow students. Katie Marney understands how important federal student loans are to her medical journey and those of her peers, and uses that knowledge to strongly advocate for programs like Grad PLUS. Because of Grad PLUS, she is pursuing her dream at the Oklahoma State University Center for Health Sciences College of Osteopathic Medicine and working toward improving the nation’s access to quality physicians.
“My loans aren’t for me, they help me become a better doctor for my patients.”
Medical residents like Katherine Kirby, DO, know how important Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) is to helping ease physician financial burnout. Like many osteopathic medical school graduates who enjoy and seek the types of patient relationships that primary care allows you to build, Dr. Kirby knew she wanted to be a primary care physician. PSLF gave her the flexibility to become a generalist OB/GYN without having to subspecialize to pay off her loans. Dr. Kirby also shares helpful advice for fellow residents and prospective students on how they can best utilize the benefits of PSLF.
“The importance of advocating for ourselves and our patients cannot be overstated.”
Timothy Lemaire, DO, is an osteopathic family medicine physician serving patients at Norton Sound Regional Hospital in rural Alaska. In this underserved community, he performs full spectrum medicine through his local ER where he manages a 20-bed inpatient wing, practices prenatal and obstetrical care, and makes trips to surrounding villages to see patients in their homes. He has been able to help these remote communities thanks to the availability of federal student aid programs. Serving as a member of the Council of Osteopathic Student Government Presidents and one of the founding members of the Residents and Fellows Council, alongside Dr. Kirby, has provided a foundation for his advocacy efforts throughout his career.
Do you have peers or mentors whom you’d like to celebrate on this day? Share their stories on social media using the hashtags #DoctorsDay and #NationalDoctorsDay on Monday, March 30th. And be sure to tag us on social media by using @edtomed on Facebook and @ed2med on Twitter.