By Mary-Lynn Bender, AACOM Director of Congressional and Public Affairs
During the Joint AACOM & AODME 2017 Annual Conference, ED to MED celebrated its one-year anniversary by hosting its second town hall. Expert panelists shared their stories and answered questions about their personal experiences as advocates, and illustrated valuable lessons they have learned. Pamela Murphy, MSW, Senior Vice President of AACOM’s Office of Government Relations, moderated the discussion. She opened the town hall by explaining why the ED to MED campaign was originally created and provided an update on ED to MED’s significant growth over the past year.
The Campus Ambassador Program, which launched in July 2016, currently boasts more than 160 medical students who are crucial to expanding the grassroots advocacy campaign’s network and protecting the financial future of medical and other graduate students. During the town hall, we unveiled a new national partnership to amplify a strong collective graduate student voice through organizational endorsements of the ED to MED campaign principles. These endorsements strengthen our message and heighten its influence in the halls of Congress. But the campaign couldn’t have gotten to this point without our grassroots advocates.
The osteopathic medical education advocacy experts who spoke on the panel included:
- Stephen C. Shannon, DO, MPH, President and CEO, AACOM
- Karen J. Nichols, DO, MA, Dean, Chicago College of Osteopathic Medicine of Midwestern University
- Sandra L. Rollins, MA, Director of Financial Aid, Rowan University School of Osteopathic Medicine and Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences
- Caleb B. Hentges, OMS-III, Arizona College of Osteopathic Medicine of Midwestern University, Immediate Past COSGP National 2nd Vice Chair, 2017 ED to MED Outstanding Advocate of the Year and ED to MED Campus Ambassador
Key takeaways from the town hall were the importance of building relationships with your legislators and their staff, sharing your perspective to help others understand your experience, and staying grounded to be a sustainable advocate.
The town hall drew high levels of engagement on social media. View our Twitter Moment to see the virtual highlights, and while you’re there, get engaged by sharing a tweet about why you advocate for the #futurephysicianworkforce!