The 2019 – 2020 OHPI application cycle is now open.
Applications are due Friday, January 25, 2019.


What is the OHPI Program?

The Osteopathic Health Policy Internship (OHPI) Program enables 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 knowledge of federal health care policy and how to have a foundational 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 agencies, 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, and other federal agency meetings, as well as conferences and coalition meetings, as appropriate.
  4. Develop a thorough understanding of an area of particular health policy interest, as well as health policy as it relates to osteopathic medical education.
  5. Present on an advocacy topic as determined and finalized with AACOM government relations.  


  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 certain 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, daily transportation to and from the AACOM office, 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 the following:
  • a letter expressing your interest in the OHPI Program 
  • a brief paper outlining an area of health policy or higher education policy interest
  • your curriculum vitae 
  • 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, professors, and other individuals who can attest to your qualifications. Letters should not come from current staff of AACOM.

All complete applications received by COB on Friday, January 25, 2019 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 Kana Smith at by January 25, 2019.

Letter headings should read:

Pamela Murphy, MSW
Senior Vice President of Government Relations
American Association of
Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine
500 New Jersey Avenue, NW, Suite 380 
Washington, DC 20001 

Questions about the OHPI Program? Contact:

Kana Smith
Policy and Regulatory Analyst

Related Content

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OHPI Spotlight
OHPI interns describe their experiences at AACOM.

Other Health Policy Fellowship/Internship Opportunities

Osteopathic Health Policy Intern flyerDownload this flyer to learn more about the OHPI program