Douglas Anderson (DO ’15)
Advocating for the Profession
Douglas Anderson (DO ’15) thinks that advocacy is an important part of being a physician,
especially an osteopathic physician. “I think in order for us to be effective as doctors,
we need to know about government issues affecting healthcare, because our patients
are looking to us for answers,” says Mr. Anderson, a second lieutenant in the U.S.
To that end, Mr. Anderson has spent his last two months at PCOM working as the osteopathic
health policy intern with the government relations team of the American Association
of Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine (AACOM), learning first-hand how to be a good
advocate for the profession.
The internship program—which only accepts three osteopathic medical students each
year—allows participants to learn about the development of federal health care policy,
and how to affect how that policy is formulated.
“I’ve learned so much about healthcare policy from observing the legislative process,”
Mr. Anderson says. “I’ve attended Senate subcommittee hearings and visited the Institute
of Medicine and the National Institutes of Health, and I’m putting together a policy
paper on the issue of international medical students doing clinical rotations in the
One of Mr. Anderson’s most memorable projects as an intern was working with AACOM
to send out alerts in preparation of the Senate’s vote to repeal the sustainable growth
rate formula for physician reimbursement under Medicare. The bill essentially secures
Medicare reimbursement rates for physicians, and extends funding for Teaching Health
Centers and the National Health Service Corps.
“We worked to put out information that would not only alert students to the gravity
of the situation, but also inspire them to act and write to their legislators,” says
Mr. Anderson. “It was huge news for both patients and physicians.”
Mr. Anderson, who also served as DO Council president and Student Government Association
president while at PCOM, will begin general surgery residency this June at Pinnacle
Health in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.