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On May 21 and 22, medical students from all across the country
gathered at our nation's capital to lobby for issues pertaining to
health care as part of the American College of Physicians' annual
As part of their preparation, all participants received a
comprehensive orientation on the current state of health policy in
the U.S., and a briefing on ACP's top legislative priorities for
the year. There were specific educational workshop sessions for
students and physicians-in-training to help them understand some
background facts, gain traction on the complex political
environment surrounding health care reform, and obtain skills to
lobby and communicate their views effectively.
The following day, alongside physicians, residents/fellows, and
public health leaders, medical students from coast to coast filled
the congressional offices and initiated active discussions on
issues and exciting, innovative solutions amidst the challenging
fiscal environment in Washington, DC. Among their top priorities
were requests to eliminate Medicare's SGR Formula and transition to
better payment systems, ensure full funding for essential health
programs, and reform and sustain Graduate Medical Education (GME)
financing to realign GME and workforce needs. The last issue was of
utmost importance to the medical students as they will be the first
to graduate in a time when graduating students will exceed the
total potential residency positions in the US by 15,000 positions
due to funding cuts.
The event was a success as students from across the United
States joined together to share their stories and voice their
concerns. After innumerable amount of preparation and hours of
discussion with their congressional representatives, medical
students lobbied in hopes of improving the future of health care in
this country. Although Leadership Day concluded, active advocacy
does not, as students and physicians continue to shape the health
care landscape of this country one discussion at a time.
National representatives from the ACP Council of Student Members
(CSM) joined efforts with their constituents in advocate for
important issues facing the current medical students. Hao
Feng, the Chair for the ACP Council of Student Members, actively
advocated and called for GME funding and financing reform.
America is already facing a critical shortage of physicians in
primary care and other specialties. Unless Congress acts now, the
country will face a shortage of more than 90,000 doctors in 10
years to care for an aging and growing population. At the same
time, doctors are getting older, too, with nearly one third
expected to retire in the next decade, just when more Americans
need care. As medical schools expand their enrollment to combat the
physician shortage, measures need to be in place to ensure that
these graduating US medical students will have the opportunity to
obtain residency spots to fully become a practicing physician. As
the Affordable Care Act expands insurance coverage to the poorest
inhabitants of this country, it is imperative that infrastructure,
including enough physicians, is sufficient to provide high-quality,
low-cost care. Insufficient GME funding will only hurt the most
vulnerable population and drive up costs of health care by
indirectly encouraging ER visits in absence of primary care
physician availability due to shortage.
Ashley Minaei, CSM Western Zone Representative,
University of Washington
Preyanka Makadia, CSM Osteopathic Representative, Philadelphia
College of Osteopathic Medicine
Hao Feng, CSM Chair, Yale University
On Behalf of the ACP Council of Student Members
About Leadership DayLeadership
Day is ACP's annual advocacy day on Capitol Hill, which
provides an opportunity for ACP members to communicate their health
care related legislative priorities to Congress. Participants
receive a comprehensive orientation and briefing on ACP's top
legislative priorities and then have an opportunity to meet with
legislators and the staff on Capitol Hill.
About the ACP Council of Student Members
The ACP Council
of Student Members was formed in 1998 to address the needs of
medical students and represent the interests of ACP's approximately
28,000 Medical Student Members. The Council is comprised of 14
medical students representing medical students from all regions of
the US, osteopathic schools, the military, and Canada.
June 2013 Issue of IMpact
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