oth school and Congress are back in session, and Joseph Anderson, a fourth-year student at the University of New England College of Osteopathic Medicine (UNECOM), has arrived in Washington, DC and has begun his experience in AACOM’s Osteopathic Health Policy Internship (OHPI) Program. Mr. Anderson began his internship on Monday, August 31 with a mission to bolster AACOM’s advocacy efforts while absorbing health policy knowledge as well as providing a student perspective for legislative issues related to medical education.
The OHPI Program provides medical students with the opportunity to research and experience public policy first-hand, actively participating in AACOM’s lobbying activities and advocacy initiatives. Mr. Anderson plans to focus his health policy research on the primary care physician workforce shortage, particularly in rural and underserved areas across the nation.
"I was attracted to the OHPI program because I want to be able to contribute outside of my day-to-day physician responsibilities. So much of what physicians do is impacted by politics and legislation, and I think it's important for members of the medical professions to have a voice in that arena."
Joseph Anderson, OMS IV, UNECOM
Mr. Anderson grew up in a rural town in Maine. The first in his family to pursue a career in medicine, Mr. Anderson comes from a line of individuals dedicated to public service—his mother is a court clerk and his father is a social worker—a foundational element of his desire to make an impact in society. Mr. Anderson began his medical career working within the human resources department at Mercy Hospital in Portland, ME. However, this work only served to grow his desire to be more hands on within the medical field and make a difference through medicine, and he eventually went back to school to pursue his medical degree.
With his undergraduate medical education coming to a close, Mr. Anderson is looking forward to his work in his upcoming residency position where he will pursue training in pediatrics. "Children are the best patients. They are so resilient and upbeat, despite what they are going through. Even if my day is mostly stuffy noses and ear aches, I find the work incredibly fulfilling because I know I am helping parents better care for their children and am able to do what is in the best interest of each child," said Mr. Anderson.
Mr. Anderson was a member of the Council of Osteopathic Student Government Presidents (COSGP), serving on the Medical Education Committee. He has held leadership positions as President of the UNECOM Student Government Association (SGA) and as Pre-SOMA Director for the UNECOM Student Osteopathic Medical Association (SOMA). Mr. Anderson has also served as a Maine Delegate to the American Osteopathic Association (AOA) and board member of the Maine Osteopathic Association. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and Business Administration-Management from Saint Joseph’s College of Maine.
Mr. Anderson's internship will end October 23, 2015.