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Policy & Advocacy

AACOM Virtual Day of Action, Oct. 7, 2020

Wednesday, October 7, 2020

COVID-19 has put an unprecedented strain on our healthcare and medical education systems, impacting patients, hospitals, healthcare workers, medical students, schools, and our communities. As our country continues to respond to the pandemic, it is critical that we boost our advocacy efforts not only to address current challenges, but also to continue to ensure federal policies and programs support the osteopathic medical education (OME) community and invest in the future physicians who provide care to our nation.

Congress wants—and needs—to hear from you.

We are students, faculty members, physicians, and mentors. We must also be advocates. All members of the OME community are called upon to participate in the AACOM Virtual Day of Action to urge Congress to champion federal health and higher education policies crucial to our osteopathic medical schools, students, and physicians. We will #ElevateOME as we take action together.

Join us on October 7 for a day of all-virtual advocacy activities and policy events as we collectively reach out to Congress to raise our voice for OME priorities.

Who Should Attend?

*Please note: There is no cost to participate in the AACOM Virtual Day of Action.

AACOM Virtual Day of Action is open to all members of the OME community, including:

  • Medical students
  • COM administrators, leaders, and faculty
  • Resident physicians
  • Graduate medical education professionals

Day-Of Agenda

Throughout the AACOM Virtual Day of Action, registrants will have the opportunity to urge their Members of Congress to elevate OME priorities by participating in coordinated calls to action. Event registrants will receive three email prompts throughout the day encouraging them to take action on specific policy issues to coordinate our community’s advocacy. These calls to action will include opportunities to tweet legislators, send electronic letters to the Hill, and share personal stories. Advocacy actions may be completed throughout the day at your convenience. An advocacy toolkit will be shared with participants to provide you with materials and trainings to assist you on this virtual advocacy day and beyond.

Participants may also attend live virtual sessions to hear directly from a Member of Congress and Hill staff about issues of importance to OME in the current political climate and how COVID-19 is impacting the legislative process, and get an inside scoop from political insiders on one of the most consequential elections taking place come November. Connecting the OME community with Members of Congress and their staff members is essential to ensure successful advocacy at the federal level, and we hope you will join us. Learn more about our interactive and informative program below.

Please note: to receive detailed information for the day-of program and other resources, you must be registered. AACOM Virtual Day of Action programming, agenda, and speakers may be subject to change. AACOM Virtual Day of Action live virtual sessions are off the record and will not be recorded. Please refrain from posting speaker remarks or other content from the live sessions to social media. 

Live Virtual Sessions and Advocacy Opportunities

Click on titles to see full details about each session.

10:00 AM ET | Coordinated Advocacy Action 1
Help Advance OME Priorities in Response to COVID-19

10:45 AM – 11:30 AM ET | Live Session
AACOM Virtual Day of Action Kick-Off and How COVID-19 Has Shaped Policy Making Today and Into the Future

      Robert A. Cain, DO, AACOM President and CEO
       U.S. Senator Roy Blunt (R-MO)

12:30 PM ET | Coordinated Advocacy Action 2
Urge Congress to Address Medical Student Debt

1:00 PM – 2:00 PM ET | Live Session
Congressional Policy Update: Healthcare, Education, COVID-19
      Adam “Buck” Buckalew, Deputy Health Policy Director, Majority,
      U.S. Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions

      Additional Speakers Forthcoming

2:30 PM ET | Coordinated Advocacy Action 3
Raise Your Voice to Address the Physician Shortage by Expanding GME and Enhance Primary Care Access by Supporting THCGME

3:30 PM – 4:30 PM ET | Live Session
Getting the Inside Scoop: Exclusive November 2020 Elections Update
James Arkin, Senate Campaign Pro Reporter, POLITICO

Share Your Story

Whether you are a medical student learning to care for others, an osteopathic medical educator training the next generation of DOs, or an osteopathic physician working on the frontlines to care for COVID patients, you have a story to tell.

This Virtual Day of Action, use our storytelling tool below to tell Congress about the importance of federal policies and programs that help you contribute to a healthier community.


Shawn Hamm, DO, MPH

“My story’s not unlike many of my physician colleagues. I completed medical school with the dream of becoming a full-scope family medicine physician knowing good and well that it was going to take a significant financial investment to reach that goal. Here I am today, a third-year family medicine resident working on the frontlines of COVID-19, carrying a tremendous amount of financial debt. Congress needs to hear our stories because we are living the reality of the federal health and higher education policies that they enact on our behalf. We need support.”

Owais Durrani_13

Owais Durrani, DO

“There are so many important issues that the osteopathic medical education community must advocate for. This year especially, supporting graduate medical education (GME) is crucial to expanding the physician workforce battling COVID. So many residents are working tireless hours to make sure that Americans stay safe and are treated when they do get sick. GME is how we meet the demand for our lack of physicians. I urge my congressional representatives to support GME education and provide funding for this very important issue.”


Check out the #ElevateOME story library
to learn how other advocates are asking Congress to elevate OME.