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Leadership Institute

portrait collage of previous Osteopathic Health Policy Interns


The application cycle for the 2020-2021 OHPI Program has closed.
Please check back for future opportunities to apply.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the 2020-2021 Osteopathic Health Policy Internship Program is being conducted virtually through online learning.


The Osteopathic Health Policy Internship (OHPI) Program enables osteopathic medical students to spend eight consecutive weeks in Washington, DC at AACOM's Office of Government Relations. To the extent practical, every effort is made to identify the eight week 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.

Who may participate?

The program is open to current osteopathic medical students. Selected students (typically OMS-III or OMS-IV) 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 eight consecutive weeks 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 U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, and the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.
  • Cover coalition and stakeholder meetings and conferences as appropriate and directed by AACOM Government Relations.
  • Provide support to AACOM Office of Government Relations by researching policy issues of importance to osteopathic medical education and aligned with the AACOM Public Policy Agenda.
  • Deliver an advocacy and policy presentation at AACOM headquarters on a topic as determined and finalized with AACOM Office of Government Relations.


  • Observe and participate in the legislative and regulatory processes.
  • Monitor ongoing public policy issues for AACOM.
  • Observe and implement appropriate advocacy techniques.
  • Develop 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 free housing for each intern. Please note, per IRS regulations, value of the housing is considered taxable income for each OHPI. 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 position paper thoughtfully outlining an area of health care 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 web page 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 and character. Letters should not come from current AACOM staff.

All complete applications are reviewed by AACOM. Please note: OHPI appointments are contingent on the successful completion of a background check. Background check release forms will be sent to the tentative appointees. 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. 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 for the 2020 - 2021 OHPI Program has closed. Please check back for future opportunities to apply.

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 atran@aacom.org.



Alexandra Tran
Policy and Regulatory Analyst