CCOM Students Lobby Legislators, Staff about Healthcare Reform, Student Loans

31 medical students traveled to Washington D.C. for DO Day on Capitol Hill

  • IL - Downers Grove
CCOM stand outside Capitol Hill

CCOM students visited Capitol Hill as part of the national DO Day.

Chicago College of Osteopathic Medicine (CCOM) students were part of a national event, DO Day on Capitol Hill, where healthcare students provide legislators with information about the impact of osteopathic medicine on the healthcare system, as well as advocate for healthcare issues. DO Day on Capitol Hill is organized by the American Osteopathic Association for osteopathic medicine students and doctors to discuss their positions on health policy issues. Ava DiGirolamo (CCOM 鈥26) and Chirag Shah (CCOM 鈥26) were among the P站视频 students who met with legislators or aides to advocate for bills and policies.


CCOM stand inside Capitol Hill
31 CCOM students participated in DO Day.


Chirag and Ava also shared the issues they talked about with the legislators or their aides. Chirag detailed, 鈥淭he main issues we advocated for were the REDI Act, legislation surrounding student debt reform by delaying interest accumulation until post residency; the SAVE Act, legislation aiming to protect healthcare workers from increasing violence that threatens them in their workplace with a carveout for those undergoing healthcare crisis; and Medicare reform aiming to prevent doctors from getting pay cuts year after year for accepting Medicare patients.鈥  Ava shared her concerns about student loan reform and increasing accessibility to healthcare in underserved communities, and she said that two of the bills they advocated for focused on this. 鈥淚 loved speaking with the senator and representatives' health aids because they were very familiar with the bills we were advocating for this year and that led to great discussions about healthcare accessibility and reform,鈥 she said. 

Student standing outside Capital building
Students had the chance to advocate for healthcare policies.

鈥淥ur day on the Capitol was very successful. We were able to meet with the offices of Senator Tammy Duckworth, Senator Richard Durbin, and Representative Sean Casten who all supported the ideas behind the legislation we discussed. I personally was able to appeal our case to Senator Durbin during a coffee talk,鈥 Chirag said. Ava added, 鈥淚 met with Senator Duckworth and Senator Richard Durbin's health aids as well as Representative Bill Foster and Representative Darin LaHood's health aids.鈥 

Ava and Chirag both expressed their appreciation for this opportunity and shared how the experience will benefit their future healthcare careers. Chirag said, 鈥淪peaking to legislators and their offices gives me a broader understanding of what will affect me as a physician in the future and allows me to tackle those issues earlier. It also changes my perspective on the role of a physician not only as a provider of healthcare, but as leaders who must fight for their patients and themselves through legislation and advocacy.鈥 Ava also mentioned that she studied Public Health as an undergraduate student and is very passionate about health advocacy. 鈥淚 hope to one day be looked to for guidance when it comes to healthcare policy and planning, so speaking with legislators as a medical student provides those opportunities early on in my career. DO Day is an amazing opportunity to participate in advocacy to a degree that I never imagined I could.鈥 

Chirag echoed, 鈥淥ne of my passions is advocacy work, so the intersection between my passion for medicine and advocacy at DO Day provides a very fun and rewarding experience for me personally. I also find it important to fight for what I believe in and work towards a better future for all physicians.鈥


CCOM stand outside Capitol Hill
Students had the chance to meet with legislators or their aides.


This year was Ava鈥檚 second time attending DO Day, and she planned and organized the experience for the attending CCOM students. She also expressed her delight in meeting other students from across the country with the same interests and dedication for advocacy in healthcare. 鈥淚 have forged great relationships with likeminded individuals because of DO Day.鈥 

DO Day is one of many ways P站视频 students participate in advocacy and utilize their role as future healthcare professionals for the greater good. Their DO Day experience, discussion of legislation, and meeting with politicians and their teams adds to their classroom experience and encourages them along their path of becoming patient-centered healthcare professionals. 

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