D.O.s Visit D.C.
TouroCOM students from Harlem and Middletown campuses visit Congress to participate in the annual D.O. Day on the Hill
On March 5, TouroCOM-Harlem and TouroCOM-Middletown students joined together to participate in D.O. Day on the Hill, a national student advocacy day organized by the American Osteopathic Association (AOA) and the Student Osteopathic Medical Association (SOMA). During the annual event, osteopathic medical students, osteopathic physicians and AOA leaders come together to network and meet with their members of Congress to discuss important health policy issues affecting the osteopathic profession.
After an early breakfast, TouroCOM students were given trainings on effective communication techniques. Following their arrival in Washington, D.C., the students listened to introductory speeches by U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Secretary Robert McDonald, and President of the AOA Robert S. Juhasz, D.O.
Although many scheduled meetings with federal legislators were canceled due to the weather, TouroCOM-Middletown students still had the chance to speak with Congress members and their staff.
For first-time advocate Odinachi Moghalu, TouroCOM-Middletown's National Liaison for SOMA, meeting congressman Sean Patrick Maloney (state representative for Middletown's district) was "an amazing experience." She and her classmates spoke to him about making loan-repayment policies more flexible and increasing residency spots in workforce programs. "Congressman Maloney was very attentive and asked questions to get more information from us," she said.
And even for those who didn't meet with representatives, the trip was a worthwhile networking experience.
“It was exciting to be surrounded by thousands of white-coated student D.O.s, all passionate about advocacy, in the assembly hall,” said TouroCOM-Harlem student Gabrielle Jasmin, who is SGA’s incoming president. “I felt very inspired.”