The GA-PCOM medical student is spending two months in Washington, DC working on healthcare and higher education policies.
Following an application process, Farrah Rink (DO ’19) was one of three osteopathic medical students nationwide selected to spend two months in Washington, DC, interning at the American Association of Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine (AACOM) Office of Government Relations. The experience, which began January 22 and ends on March 15, provides students a first-hand look at federal healthcare and higher education policy, along with insight into creating an impact on public policy formulation.
Intern opportunities include attending key hearings and briefings on Capitol Hill related to federal healthcare and higher education policy, as well as attending meetings at federal agencies such as the U.S. Department of Education, Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services and the US Department of Veterans Affairs.
In addition, they will attend conferences and coalition meetings, as well as meetings of federal bodies and advisory councils such as the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission and the Council on Graduate Medical Education.
Student doctor Rink invites us along to share her intern experience in her own words.
“I have a lovely studio, provided by AACOM, near Dupont Circle, which is the perfect location– close to restaurants, grocery stores and transportation.
Even during the government shutdown, AACOM’s Office of Government Relations persisted in its work with the new Congress. This week, I attended a Senate HELP Committee hearing discussing the importance of access to care in underserved communities and the importance of health centers.
DC is a very unique city, the hustle and bustle is inspiring and commuter friendliness is great compared to Atlanta. I have been enjoying not having a car and getting to walk to and from locations. They have a variety of restaurants. The museums are a good way to spend the day– and FREE!
I first learned of the internship during the Summer Council of Student Government Presidents meeting in 2016 during the AOA House of Delegates in Chicago, Illinois. I made a mental note of it and thought it would be something I would be interested in applying to. Fast forward to the fall of 2017, Dr. Berkowitz prompted me to apply as well knowing me and my interests.
Having already lived and worked in DC for a year at the National Institutes of Health prior to medical school, I was excited to come back to a city I love. I had an unexpected turn to advocacy in medical school and became passionate about the funding of graduate medical education and student loan programs. Once I realized that I could not attend school without Grad PLUS loans, I knew this was a topic worth advocating for. I was the first to attend college and medical school in my family and could not afford to be here without these programs.
My background of political involvement expanded to include being part of Omega Beta Iota’s Osteopathic Political Honor Society national executive board and becoming active in the ED to MED campaign. In 2018, I was named the ED to MED Outstanding Advocate of the Year. I have attended many DO Days on the Hill, COM Days, as well as attending the Georgia Osteopathic Medical Association chapter’s Physicians Day at the Georgia Capitol. I knew that this internship was something that I would enjoy and grow from.
Being selected to become an Osteopathic Health Policy Intern (OHPI) is such an honor. I cannot wait to take the knowledge I acquire with me for the rest of my career to be an effective advocate for my profession and future patients.”
Learn more about the OHPI program at AACOM.org.
Established in 2005, PCOM Georgia is a private, not-for-profit, accredited institute of higher education dedicated to the healthcare professions. The Suwanee, Georgia, campus is affiliated with Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine which has a storied history as a premier osteopathic medical school. PCOM Georgia offers the doctor of osteopathic medicine degree, the doctor of pharmacy degree, the doctor of physical therapy degree, as well as graduate degrees in biomedical sciences and physician assistant studies. Emphasizing "a whole person approach to care," PCOM Georgia focuses on educational excellence, interprofessional education and service to the wider community. The campus is also home to the Georgia Osteopathic Care Center, an osteopathic manipulative medicine clinic, which is open to the public by appointment. For more information, visit pcom.edu or call 678-225-7500.
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