Applications Open: September 4, 2019
Application Deadline: January 24, 2020


The Osteopathic Health Policy Internship (OHPI) Program enables osteopathic medical students to spend two consecutive months in Washington, DC at AACOM's Office of Government Relations. 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 and higher education 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.

OHPI Responsibilities

Nichole at CHF Public Health Fair

Students will:

  • Spend two consecutive months in Washington, DC.
  • Attend key hearings and briefings on Capitol Hill pertaining to federal health care and higher education policy.
  • Attend important meetings at federal agencies including but not limited to the U.S. Department of Education, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, the Health Resources and Services Administration, the National Institutes of Health, and U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. Also, attend meetings of federal bodies and advisory councils such as the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission and the Council on Graduate Medical Education, as well as conferences and coalition meetings, as appropriate and directed by AACOM Government Relations.
  • Conduct research and increase understanding of federal health care and higher education policy topics that impact osteopathic medical education.
  • Present on an advocacy topic as determined and finalized with AACOM Government Relations.


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

Paid Expenses

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.



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 policy issues of interest to AACOM. 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 AACOM staff.

All complete applications 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. 

How to Apply

The application cycle is currently closed. Please revisit this web page for information about applying during the 2020 - 2021 application cycle.

All application packets (letter of interest, brief paper, CV, and at least three letters of recommendation) should be submitted electronically to Alexandra Tran, Policy and Regulatory Analyst, at

Letter headings should read:

Mary-Lynn Bender

Interim Vice President of Government and Public Relations
American Association of Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine
500 New Jersey Avenue, NW, Suite 380 
Washington, DC 20001



Alexandra Tran
Policy and Regulatory Analyst