TouroCOM Students Attend MSSNY Conference

Middletown and Harlem students travel to the MSSNY House of Delegates conference in Saratoga Springs

May 04, 2015

Last week, TouroCOM-Middletown students Sean Orton, Kyle Swartz, and J.D. Stephenson, and TouroCOM-Harlem student Celsa Tonelli, attended the annual Medical Society of the State of New York (MSSNY) House of Delegates conference at the Saratoga Hilton Hotel.

MSSNY is a private coalition of approximately 30,000 licensed physicians, medical residents, and medical students in New York. The annual conference addresses issues related to maintaining one’s own practice and incorporating oneself into the contemporary hospital system.

While TouroCOM-Harlem student Celsa Tonelli attended this year’s conference as one of the three voting delegates representing the Medical Student Section, TouroCOM-Middletown students attended as observing guests. Invited by Dr. Stephanie Zeszutek (executive board member of the Orange County Medical Society and faculty at TouroCOM-Middletown), Orton, Swartz, and Stephenson’s trips were sponsored by the local Orange County Medical Society. The trio serve on the executive board of the TouroCOM-Middletown chapter of SOMA, to which Dr. Zeszutek is advisor, and have previously organized advocacy trips to Washington, D.C. and Albany.

TouroCOM-Middletown students at the May 2015 Annual Meeting of the MSSNY House of Delegates. From left: Kyle Swartz, Devin Stephenson, AMAPAC representative, Dr. Stephanie Zeszutek, Dr. Robert Goldberg, and Sean Orton.

TouroCOM students and faculty at the May 2015 Annual Meeting of the MSSNY House of Delegates. From left: Kyle Swartz, Devin Stephenson (OMS-II, TouroCOM-Middletown) AMAPAC representative Dr. John Poole, Professor Stephanie Zeszutek, TouroCOM-Harlem Executive Dean Robert Goldberg, and Sean Orton (OMS-II, TouroCOM-Middletown).

Celsa Tonelli, TouroCOM-Harlem, with other Student Section Delegates at the MSSNY conference
Celsa Tonelli, TouroCOM-Harlem (second from left), with other Student Section Delegates at the MSSNY conference.

Joining other osteopathic and allopathic students and physicians from all over New York, the students observed the House of Delegates reach a consensus on current political issues facing the practice of medicine in New York, ranging from GME residency systems to single-care plans and reimbursement for primary care physicians. On Saturday evening, guests were invited to a formal dinner and ball with the current MSSNY president. The three-day conference included a Friday afternoon poster session and a one-mile walk to raise awareness about MSSNY.

“This meeting was a great opportunity to discuss important topics in medicine and interact with physicians from all over New York,” said Celsa Tonelli, who served with five physicians on a reference committee for a government affairs resolution.

“Seeing how policy is enacted and learning how physicians participate in these professional conferences was very rewarding,” said Sean Orton. “It’s great practice for the future to understand how procedure works and how delegates communicate with each other.” 

J.D. Stephenson concurred. “Personally, the trip helped me realize that, though the process may be time-consuming, it is possible to contribute to the political policy that affects physicians and patients.”