By Alegneta Long, AACOM Executive Director, AOGME & Director of GME Initiatives
July 1 is an important date for a new physician. It marks the beginning of the academic year for graduate medical education (GME) programs and is often the first day of training for new medical resident and fellow physicians. During their training, new residents begin to put into practice the knowledge they obtained during medical school while deepening their understanding of their specific specialty.
To support resident and fellow physicians during this important phase of their career, the American Association of Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine (AACOM)’s Assembly of Osteopathic Graduate Medical Educators (AOGME) launched the AOGME Residents and Fellows Council (RFC).
Established in fall 2018, the RFC works to develop future leaders in the osteopathic profession. It is a respected platform that allows residents and fellows to voice their ideas and concerns to GME leaders, and serves as a community and forum for resident and fellow physicians to connect, collaborate, exchange ideas, and learn.
Resident and fellow physician advocates have been a critical part of AACOM’s ED to MED campaign. RFC Chair Katherine D. Kirby, DO, spoke with ED to MED about why the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program matters to medical students, residents, patients, and communities, and why Congress should continue to support this crucial program. Founding RFC member Timothy Lemaire, DO, MPH, shared his story with ED to MED about how federal student aid allowed him to serve patients in rural Alaska. This past April, ED to MED honored RFC Policy Committee Chair Shawn Hamm, DO, MPH, as the 2020 ED to MED Outstanding Advocate of the Year for his truly impressive, long-lasting commitment to advocacy.
The voices of medical resident and fellow physicians are vital to advancing the federal policies and programs that are crucial to addressing medical student debt. The AOGME RFC invites all ED to MED resident and fellow physician advocates to join the RFC and enjoy the numerous member benefits offered by the council, including:
- Free and exclusive access to up-to-date educational webinars on GME-related topics
- Discounts on registration fees for conferences, meetings, and special events
- Virtual member-only discussion forums and meetings
- And more
As you deepen your knowledge through your residency or fellowship training, and continue your advocacy on behalf of your patients, peers, and the future physicians following in your footsteps, joining the RFC will help you continue to build connections that serve the best interests of resident and fellow physicians. We look forward to supporting you no matter what year of residency or fellowship training you are beginning this July.