On October 7, hundreds of advocates raised the national profile of osteopathic medical education (OME) by participating in the AACOM Virtual Day of Action. Osteopathic medical students, educators, administrators, and physicians sent over 300 messages to Congress in support of federal policies and programs vital to the future of OME.
Prioritizing Mental Health
During the AACOM Virtual Day of Action, our community strongly urged Congress to address the mental health challenges long suffered by physicians and other healthcare workers. The COVID-19 pandemic is exacerbating these mental health challenges and amplifies the need for immediate action to prioritize and protect our healthcare professionals’ mental health.
As we celebrate National Health Education Week from October 19–23, 2020, AACOM recommits to our strong support for the Dr. Lorna Breen Health Care Provider Protection Act, which aims to help reduce and prevent suicide, burnout, and mental and behavioral health conditions among healthcare professionals. Join us in advocating for this important issue by tweeting Congress or sending a message to Capitol Hill.
On October 7, advocates shared personal stories about how the COVID-19 pandemic is affecting osteopathic medical students and resident physicians working on the pandemic’s frontlines, how federal programs such as Public Service Loan Forgiveness and Graduate PLUS Loans address medical student debt and make medical education more accessible, and why expanding graduate medical education (GME) and supporting the Teaching Health Center GME Program are crucial to addressing the physician shortage and ensuring all patients have access to physician care.
AACOM Virtual Day of Action attendees also participated in live virtual sessions with Q&A opportunities, hearing from U.S. Senator Roy Blunt (R-MO) about how COVID-19 is impacting the legislative process, congressional staff members about advocacy strategies and health and higher education issues of importance to OME, and political insiders about the upcoming 2020 elections and the current media climate.
With osteopathic medical schools educating over 25 percent of the nation’s medical students, our unified voice has and will continue to be vital to our efforts to #ElevateOME.