By Mary-Lynn Bender, AACOM Director of Congressional and Public Affairs
Earlier this month, the American Association of Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine (AACOM) hosted approximately 100 osteopathic medical deans, educators, and students in Washington, DC for AACOM’s annual COM Day on Capitol Hill. The goal: to educate Members of Congress on policies critical to osteopathic medical education and to urge policymakers to protect the financial health of our future physician workforce.
We are happy to report that COM Day was a success, both in DC and across the country. Because of our advocates’ online engagement in AACOM’s Virtual Hill Day, we raised the profile of federal graduate education policies’ impact on medical students. While advocates swarmed Capitol Hill, students also used our ED to MED toolkit and shared their stories on Twitter, Facebook, and Snapchat to speak out in support of the federal financial aid programs they rely on to become physicians.
Here are a few notable highlights from #COMDAY17:
- Connect and Educate: Medical students like you understand firsthand the reality of student debt. Shawn Hamm used social media to connect with Congress, urging for action on the issues impacting medical and graduate students across the nation.
— Shawn Hamm (@Shawn_Hamm) March 8, 2017
- Call for Support: Whether taking advantage of our Virtual Hill Day or meeting with Members of Congress in Washington, advocates used social media to explain why policymakers should support Higher Education Act reauthorization. For many, the story is personal.
— Alyssa Ritchie (@alyssamritchie_) March 8, 2017
- SNAP SNAP SNAP: On Snapchat? If you made it to DC for our COM Day, you probably noticed a special filter on Snapchat. Our ‘Protect the Future Physician Workforce’ filter was a hit with our COM Day participants. From personal selfies to group photos, you and many other advocates used the filter as a unique way to connect with policymakers.
— Dakotah Rose Forell (@DRForell) March 8, 2017
- Why YOU Advocate: Medical students like you did not hold back when explaining why we must protect the future physician workforce. Missed out? It’s not too late to tell us why YOU advocate by sharing your story here.
— Farrah Rink (@FarrahRink) March 8, 2017
- Build on the Excitement: After a long day of meetings and informing Members of Congress on medical student issues, student groups took to social media to highlight their successful visits.
— Fritz Stine (@FStineVI) March 9, 2017
Thank you to the hardworking osteopathic medical education advocates from around the country that helped contribute to AACOM’s successful COM Day and Virtual Hill Day. We accomplished a lot, but more work is needed. If you have not done so already, it’s time to take a stand and join the ED to MED campaign today!
Missed out on #COMDAY17? Don’t worry! Our latest Storify captured all of the great moments.