7 Reasons to Attend DO Day on Capitol Hill.

  1. Reasons to Attend DO Day on Capitol Hill.

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As medical students we get so wrapped up in our own heads that we forget to look around. The world is turning and the wheels of government grind away at the problems of our day. Policy is being made that not only affects your current course of education (student loan funding) but also your future career (loan repayment, Graduate medical education, Medicare reimbursement) Its time you made your voice heard.

Here’s how you sign up!

http://www.osteopathic.org/inside-aoa/events/Pages/do-day-on-capitol-hill.aspx

 

  1. Because you’re kind of a big deal

Big deal

You are a future doctor. That means you will be put in positions of leadership and people will ask your opinion and expect you to be the expert. We all did tons of research to learn about how to be successful applicants to medical school, how much more time then should we spend preparing ourselves for our careers? The elected officials need to hear from you, they don’t know the reality of your story and they certainly wont find out if you don’t tell them. If you don’t speak up the only other voice they’ll hear is that of dollars and cents. If they don’t see the people behind the student loans they are financing they might stop financing them. Its been proposed before. They need to hear your story.

 

 

  1. You are either at the table or on the table:

roast pig

This is the least gross picture I could find of a roast pig about to be eaten and if we don’t speak up the savory flesh of our beloved profession will be picked apart and patient care will be lost along the way. The elected officials need to hear from you, they don’t know the reality of your story and what drives you to pursue the most grueling, time intensive education in America and they certainly wont find out if you don’t tell them. If you don’t speak up the only other voice they’ll hear is dollars and cents. If they don’t see the people behind the student loans they are financing they might stop financing them. Its been proposed before. They need to hear your story.

 

  1. Your future self will thank you:

Building structure in Lisbon's Nations park train station

We sit here behind our copies of FirstAid stressing about a test when in reality we should be planning our next move. The world is a big place full of opportunity for those who know what they want. The government may not be able to give you what you want but they sure can stop you from getting it. Its time for us to influence the change we want to see.

 

  1. Your current self will thank you:

sleeping-med-student2

Joining over 1000 fellow medical students in a common goal to impress upon our nations leaders the message of a profession is powerful. Its invigorating to see your classmates a colleagues descend on the lawmakers with a united voice, and you can be sure that as the largest single day lobbying contingent, we do not go unnoticed.

 

 

  1. Your CV will thank you:

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Lets be honest, we all want to bolster that CV with meaningful events about which we can speak at residency interviews. What better event than one that shapes the course of an entire profession effecting both students, doctors and patients. I have not met a student who attended this event and didn’t have an amazing story to tell about the impact they made.

 

  1. Its super fun!

doday2

Anytime you get over 1000 medical students together the possibilities for fun are boundless. You will make new friends and forge relationships that will prove valuable in the future. With the added benefit of social media you never have to lose contact with your new partners in advocacy plus, you never know when you might need a place to crash during an away rotation.

 

  1. Your school and clubs probably want to give you money to attend! 

money

Did you ask your school for money to attend? Have you coordinated with other students? Have you asked your SGA or SOMA chapter for funds? My first year I went to DC for 4 days and it cost me $100. By cobbling together funds and sharing sleeping arrangements you can travel on the cheap.

 

Here’s how you sign up!

http://www.osteopathic.org/inside-aoa/events/Pages/do-day-on-capitol-hill.aspx

Then get smart about the issues here.

http://www.aacom.org/advocacy

http://advocacy.osteopathic.org/home

Alumni Advice

0As members of COSGP, your leadership extends beyond the realm of “student”.  Your actions and hard work effectively contribute to significant progress being made within our profession TODAY.  It is important to think about your leadership efforts on a continuum, with COSGP and related extracurricular activities as a medical student falling near the beginning of a long and fruitful career as a physician-leader.  Take some time to reflect on your goals and aspirations, even those in the distant future (i.e., 10, 15, 20 years from now).  Part of being a great leader is having a vision.  A vision for your career, yes, but more importantly a vision for your organization, your profession, for your patients and for our global society.  There will be times during medical school, and certainly during residency training, when you may need to step back from taking on significant leadership roles or new projects.  That is okay.  But continually reflecting and re-evaluating your personal vision, goals, and values will keep the fire going.
One of the best pieces of advice I can offer is to spend time developing relationships.  Whether these are professional or personal relationships, it is important to make an effort to maintain them.  Keep in touch with old professors, employers, and mentors.  Be willing to mentor those that come up the ranks behind you, and continually remind yourself of all of the people in your life who have supported you over the years.  If you work to maintain relationships and to reach out to help others who are seeking advice and guidance, it can only pay dividends down the road; it’s a good human capital investment.  And finally, just make time to continually remind yourself why you are working so hard and why you have chosen this professional path.  It is easy to get overwhelmed and lose sight of all of the reasons we wanted to become doctors (or leaders, etc.) to begin with.  Write a letter to yourself today expressing all of the reasons you are pursuing this dream and some of the things you hope to accomplish in your career.  Then don’t open it for 5 or 10 years.  At that point, re-assess where you are in your career and whether or not you have stayed true to your values and ambitions.  Of course, frequent reminders throughout the year are also helpful.  Just do whatever it takes to maintain that initial passion that led you to pursue a medical career.  It is both a great priviledge and a greater responsibility to enter this profession, and we owe it to ourselves to maintain our core values to help guide us in the years to come.

Roberto Fernandez, D.O., MPH