AACOM Advocacy Day Elevates OME Policy Priorities on Capitol Hill

Published October 14, 2021



On October 6-7, a record number of 240 advocates from across the osteopathic medical education (OME) community united for AACOM Advocacy Day to raise the profile of key OME federal policy priorities. Participating deans, medical students, residents, practicing DOs, faculty members and more attended virtual panel discussions, contributed to grassroots advocacy efforts and met virtually with Members of Congress and congressional staff. Across the 45 participating colleges of osteopathic medicine, branch campuses and additional locations, 113 advocates engaged in 124 congressional meetings.

advocacy day virtual

Photo: Panelists from AACOM Advocacy Day. Representative Brad Wenstrup (top left), Legislative Assistant Jay Eberle (top right), Legislative Assistant Stephanie Johnson (bottom left) and AACOM President and CEO Robert A. Cain (bottom right).

On October 6, following an introduction by AACOM President and CEO Robert A. Cain, DO, U.S. Representative Brad Wenstrup, DPM (R-OH) opened AACOM Advocacy Day by providing a congressional health policy update. Stephanie Johnson, legislative assistant, Sen. Jon Tester (D-MT), and Jay Eberle, legislative assistant, Sen. John Barrasso (R-WY), then shared the Hill staff perspective on key policy issues during a bipartisan panel titled “Behind the Scenes with Congressional Staff: Update on OME Policy Priorities.” AACOM’s Government Relations Department concluded the day’s presentations with an advocacy training to prepare advocates for congressional meetings and to share strategies for effective grassroots advocacy. 

advocacy day social images

On October 7, advocates sent messages directly to their Members of Congress through the AACOM Action Center urging them to:

  • Remove discriminatory restrictions on DOs at federally funded graduate medical education (GME) programs
  • Increase National Institutes of Health research funding for osteopathic medical schools
  • Strengthen rural GME
  • Authorize health professions students to vaccinate during public health emergencies

Attendees also utilized a social media toolkit to share posts and graphics with Congress illustrating the urgency behind the issues.

If you were unable to participate in AACOM Advocacy Day and would like to take action on these policy priorities affecting the OME community, it’s not too late to advocate! Visit our Action Center and write, call or tweet your legislators today.