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Osteopathic Health Policy Intern Program 

The 2015 application cycle is now closed. Please check back often for information on the 2016 application cycle.

What is the OHPI Program?
The OHPI Program enables up to three osteopathic medical students to spend two consecutive months in the government relations department at the AACOM headquarters. To the extent practical, every effort is made to identify the two-month period that best accommodates each student's’ schedule. The objective of the program is to allow selected student interns to develop an understanding and operational knowledge of how federal health care policy is developed and how to have an effective impact on public policy formulation.

Please note:  AACOM policy requires all new employees, including interns who are accepted into the OHPI Program, to undergo a background check. The background check includes verification of Social Security number, county and multi-state criminal search, education and degree check, and a certification/credential check, if applicable. Once selected by AACOM, acceptance into the program is contingent upon the completion of a successful background check.

Who may participate?
The program is open to current osteopathic medical students. Selected students may seek to obtain approval from their colleges of osteopathic medicine to count this internship as an elective rotation.

What are the OHPI's responsibilities?

  1. Spend two months in Washington, DC.
  2. Meet with federal agency policymakers, including but not limited to officials at the National Institutes of Health, Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, Health Resources and Services Administration, Department of Veterans Affairs, and Department of Education.
  3. Attend hearings on Capitol Hill pertaining to health policy. Also, attend meetings of groups such as the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission, Council on Graduate Medical Education, American Osteopathic Association Bureau on Federal Health Programs, as well as conferences and colloquia, as appropriate.
  4. Develop a thorough understanding of an area of particular health policy interest, as well as health policy in general.
  5. Complete a health policy paper based on the initial health policy interest paper.  


  1. Observe and participate in the legislative and regulatory processes.
  2. Monitor ongoing public policy issues for AACOM.
  3. Examine current "hot" issues for AACOM.
  4. Observe and implement appropriate advocacy techniques.
  5. Develop and implement networking skills.  

Is this a paid position?
Yes; a $3,500 (taxable) stipend is provided to each OHPI.

What expenses will be paid?
AACOM will provide housing for each intern. AACOM will also cover the cost of local travel for business purposes and certain miscellaneous expenses, such as photocopying in AACOM’s office, supplies available in AACOM’s office, and other expenses approved by AACOM. The intern is responsible for transportation to and from Washington, DC, parking and mileage (if OHPIs bring vehicles to Washington, DC, which is not recommended), meals, long distance telephone, recreation, and other expenses.

What is the application process?
Your application will consist of a letter expressing your interest in the OHPI Program, a brief paper outlining an area of health policy interest which you propose to analyze, your curriculum vitae, and at least three letters of recommendation. When selecting your topic, keep in mind current public policy issues of interest to AACOM (e.g., physician workforce, graduate medical education, health professions training, or student financial aid). Please browse AACOM's Advocacy section for the most recent issues. Letters of recommendation should come from the President or Dean of your school, preceptors, and professors. Letters should not come from current staff of AACOM.

All complete applications received by the deadline are reviewed by AACOM. OHPI appointments are contingent on the successful completion of a background check.  Background check release forms will be sent to the tentative appointees. Please note that you may still withdraw your application without prejudice at this point if you do not wish to complete the background check process. Once background checks are successfully completed, OHPI appointments are officially announced. 

Submitting your application:
Please submit all application packets (letter of interest, brief paper, CV, and at least three letters of recommendation) electronically to Judith Mun at

Letter headings should read:

Stephen C. Shannon, DO, MPH
President and CEO, American Association of Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine
Attn: Judith Mun
1090 Vermont Avenue, NW, Suite 500
Wahington, DC 20005

Questions about the OHPI Program? Contact:

Judith Mun
Senior Policy Specialist
Phone: (301) 276-8944




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