CCOM Students Lobby U.S. Lawmakers on Healthcare Issues

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May 04, 2023 | Downers Grove, IL

Chicago College of Osteopathic Medicine students traveled to Washington, D.C., to meet with lawmakers as part of the DO Day on Capitol Hill.

Students and faculty members from Midwestern University’s Chicago College of Osteopathic Medicine (CCOM) participated in a national event in Washington, D.C. to inform lawmakers about the importance of osteopathic medicine and encourage action on vital healthcare issues.

Organized by the American Osteopathic Association, DO Day on Capitol Hill is an opportunity for osteopathic physicians (DOs) and medical students to engage with legislators and communicate their position on important health policy issues. Members of the CCOM delegation included 18 students representing seven different states. They conducted several meetings with lawmakers including Illinois Senators Tammy Duckworth and Dick Durbin to discuss protecting patient access to care, expanding graduate medical education, and advocating for student loan reform by encouraging Congress to support the REDI Act, which would allow borrowers to defer student loan payments until the completion of their programs.

“I think it’s important for medical students to participate in this type of advocacy opportunity. We not only learned how to advocate for ourselves and our profession, but bonded with other students, physicians, and legislators as we all worked together to discuss a healthier and more beneficial future for physicians and patients. It brought big-picture healthcare issues to light which I feel is important for every medical student to understand,” said medical student Riya Pathare (CCOM 2026), president of the Student Osteopathic Medical Association (SOMA) chapter on the Downers Grove Campus of Midwestern University.

The CCOM contingent joined more than 1,000 students and osteopathic physicians from across the nation who participated in the event. “Going to DO Day on the Hill shows medical students the power they have to impact their patients’ health outside the clinic or hospital room. Our schools teach us to think holistically, and the issues we advocate for also influence how we care for our future patients. After a few days in DC, we learned advocacy skills, shared stories with students across the country, and worked together on issues that unite us as osteopathic medical students and future physicians,” said Margo Winter (CCOM 2025), a medical student and the national political affairs director for the SOMA chapter at Midwestern University.

Founded in 1900, the Chicago College of Osteopathic Medicine educates physicians to provide compassionate, quality care while committing to lifelong learning, research, and service. Students in the program benefit from caring faculty mentors, robust research opportunities, outstanding clinical rotation sites, and join other students studying a variety of healthcare disciplines at Midwestern University.