March 14, 2013
Medical residency funding key topic at D.O. Day on Capitol Hill
The Oklahoma State University College of Osteopathic Medicine student plans on sharing his ideas on residency programs with members of Congress on March 14 during D.O. Day on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C.
"With Oklahoma facing a major shortage in the number of primary health care provides, we need to provide increased funding to create new residency programs for graduating physicians," said Thomas. "These additional residency programs not only provide new places for graduating medical students to continue their education, but also help rural communities recruit and retain physicians."
Thomas will join a group of students, faculty and administrators from OSU Center for Health Sciences at the day-long event to educate members of Congress on issues facing the osteopathic profession. The national event is organized by the American Osteopathic Association.
"It's a privilege to share in the efforts of the entire osteopathic community and speak to members of Congress face-to-face about key issues that ultimately impact medical students, physicians and patients," said Thomas, president of the Student Osteopathic Medical Association at OSU-COM. "We're excited about this opportunity to share our perspectives and learn from other medical students and physicians as we speak with lawmakers."
The AOA provides briefing information for participants and schedules meetings with members of Congress and their staff. Participants share their experiences at the end of the day during a debriefing.
"D.O. Day provides our students the opportunity to share their passion for osteopathic medicine with Congressional leaders," said Dr. Kayse Shrum, OSU-CHS provost and dean of the College of Osteopathic Medicine. "It's important that our students understand the importance of advocacy. As future physicians, they will act as a voice for patients and the medical profession. By attending this event, they gain experience and confidence to interact one-on-one with those who make policy."
For Thomas, participating in the day's activities help him to make sure the voice of Oklahoma's medical students is heard in the nation's capitol.
"As medical schools continue to expand enrollment, so does the need for new residency training positions," said Thomas. "We want to ensure that all medical school graduates have a place to continue their education, which in turn will address the physician shortage we are facing here in Oklahoma."