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The Bureau of Emerging leaders represents the interests of osteopathic medical students, residents and new physicians.

Looking Forward Newsletter | July 2022

The following reports update progress from the AOA’s Bureau of Emerging Leaders Workgroups:

Advocacy

By Shawn Hamm, DO, MPH, Workgroup Chair

Welcoming DO Day scholarship winners

The AOA DO Day on the Hill 2022 was a huge success and the BEL Advocacy Workgroup was excited to participate in both the online and in-person congressional sessions.

The BEL welcomed our DO Day Scholarship winners, Dr. Andrew Collins and Dr. Tiffany Robak, to Washington, D.C. with brunch at Ted’s Bulletin. This gave us an excellent opportunity to share the mission of the BEL with our scholarship winners, discuss health policy, and share experiences from the wide continuum of medical school to private practice.

The next morning was the big day, so we gathered for a BEL group photo before heading off to our individual meetings with our legislators. Throughout the entire event, osteopathic medical students, residents, and new physicians were connecting and sharing stories with each other, building some new friendships and expanding our professional network of contacts throughout the osteopathic profession.

Preparing for congressional meetings

I was able to connect with osteopathic medical students across my home state of North Carolina and support them as they met with legislative assistants for the first time as new osteopathic advocates (picture 3). We finally had an opportunity to have our voices heard in person with our legislators, and that made DO Day on the Hill 2022 an incredible experience. We hope to see you there next year!

A few reminders – if you are a physician, remember to claim your CME credits for the educational sessions during DO Day 2022. Also, please keep the BEL DO Day Scholarship on your radar for 2023 and apply in Spring 2023!

Here’s a rundown of the issues we advocated for at DO Day on the Hill:

  • The Osteopathic Workforce – Educate members of Congress about osteopathic medicine and what it means to be a DO.
  • Stopping Medicare Sequestration – Absent Congressional action the 2% Medicare sequestration cut is resuming, with a 1% reduction in Medicare payment rates on April 1, followed by an additional 1% reduction on July 1. (April 1, 2022 – June 30, 2022).
  • CONNECT for Health Act (H.R. 2903/S. 1512) – This bill would increase access to care for Medicare beneficiaries by expanding coverage and removing restrictions for many telehealth services on a permanent basis.
  • Rural America Health Corps Act (H.R. 2130/S. 924) – This bill would establish a student loan repayment demonstration program for eligible providers who agree to work for five years in a rural area with a shortage of primary, dental, or mental health care providers.

There is still much to be done out there advocates, so be sure to read the latest AOA DO Engage email or explore the AOA website for continued opportunities to share your story on issues that impact the osteopathic profession.

Communications

By Tim Beals, DO, Workgroup Chair

Welcome to our Summer 2022 update! We are looking forward to the AOA House of Delegates meeting July 15-17 and hope to see a lot of you there. Please enjoy our interview with Dr. Broder and follow our posted links to learn more about the HOD.

We are also excited to unveil our Creative Corner! After teasing its debut for the last couple of newsletters, we are ready to accept content for next fall. If you have anything you would like to share with your colleagues regarding mentorship and community, please email your creations to BEL@osteopathic.org prior to July 31!

Resolutions

By Ryan Williamson, OMS III, Workgroup Chair

The BEL Resolutions Workgroup had a busy year brainstorming, researching, and drafting resolutions to be brought forward to this Summer’s AOA House of Delegates for consideration by the House. We began the year looking at major areas of policy gaps that affected osteopathic medical students, residents, and new physicians in practice. We initially began looking into three main areas: Away Rotation Fee Discrepancies, Increased Research Opportunities, and Advocacy for Transparency in Candidate Applications Following Pass/Fail Level 1 Exams.

While researching these areas we were able to work closely with AOA staff to determine both prior policy and future goals affecting these areas. With the adoption of the 2022 AOA Strategic Plan, it was abundantly clear that the AOA is doubling down on efforts to expand research opportunities for osteopathic medical students and physicians. Additionally, AOA leadership has continued to advocate for transparent evaluation of osteopathic medical students and physicians who take osteopathically distinct licensure exams such as COMLEX or their Specialty Board Exams.

With that work being done, we decided to turn our focus on policy protecting equal fees towards our 4th year osteopathic medical students who are being charged sometimes over $4000 for an away rotation compared to their allopathic counterparts. We have drafted a resolution encouraging the AOA to work with crucial stakeholders to fight back against this discriminatory practice.

In the meantime, we already have several other policy avenues in the pipeline for next year’s House of Delegates, including topics such as moonlighting restrictions, physician non-compete clauses, and workplace violence policies.

We look forward to seeing you at the AOA House of Delegates and you are always welcome to hear any ideas for future policies.

Scholarships

By David Shumway, DO, Workgroup Chair

We are wrapping up the events of DO Day. We are exceptionally thankful for the contributions of AOIA for our DO Day scholarship program, and special thank you to AOA President, Dr. Giaimo; President-Elect, Dr. Gelb; AOA CEO, Dr. Klauer; AOA Trustee, Dr. Rivera-Martinez; the BEL leaders; and AOA staff for offering mentorship to our scholarship winners at our small group reception call.

The work never stops, and we have already started rolling on to plan this upcoming OMED set for October 27-30 in Boston!

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