WCUCOM Students Participate in D.O. Day on Capitol Hill
Hattiesburg, Miss., April 10, 2013 - Twenty-one students from the William Carey University College of Osteopathic Medicine (WCUCOM) Student Osteopathic Medical Association (SOMA), along with Dr. Beth Longenecker, assistant professor of medicine and associate dean of clinical science, participated in DO Day on Capitol Hill, which was held in conjunction with the SOMA Spring Convention in Washington, D.C. March 13 - 17. The SOMA Spring Convention activities included the SOMA House of Delegates meeting, where students are given updates on osteopathic medicine from the national American Osteopathic Association (AOA) president, educational break-out sessions, and workshops. WCUCOM delegates hailed from Alabama, Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas. Students were scheduled to meet with their own congressmen, senators and their staff, giving them a special opportunity to share the ideals of osteopathic medicine, speak about the benefits of increasing funding for graduate medical education in their state and urge them to support legislation that would repeal the Medicare sustainable growth rate formula.
First-year Osteopathic Medical Students (OMS I) who went to D.C. were Kyle Derouen, New Orleans, La.; Kristen Roberson, Farmerville, La., and Selim Sheikh, Houston, Texas. Second-year Osteopathic Medical Students (OMS II) were Alexis Cates, Mandeville, La.; Hunter Harrison, West Monroe, La.; Evan Harsh, Fayetteville, Ark.; Jamie Bishop, Prattville, Ala.; Elizabeth Clair, Pineville, La., and Christa Sikes, Homewood, Ala. Third-year Osteopathic Medical Students (OMS III) were Denver Briley, Memphis, Tenn.; Richard Calderone, Slidell, La.; Brian Forsberg, Villa Rica, Ga.; Hope Harris, Newton; Brandi Hyatt, Soso; Brett Hyatt, Soso; Greg May, Hattiesburg; Kruti Patel, Longview, Texas; Cavatina Pham, Houston, Texas; Akhila Rajaram, Albany, Oreg.; Hailey Thompson, Clinton, and James Wilkinson, Mobile, Ala.
The WCUCOM students came back with an increased understanding of national legislation that will affect the state of healthcare in Mississippi, and have taken the opportunity to share the information with their fellow medical students.
“It's really important for all of us to understand the impact that we have in Washington,” said Kruti Patel, a second-year medical student. “When we are there, we can actually be a part of the experience and make an impact on the political leaders with a goal to move forward progressively to a better state of healthcare.”
The mission of the Student Osteopathic Medical Association is to provide students a voice in shaping the future of their chosen profession; to improve the quality of health care delivery to the American people with special focus on the Gulf South region; to contribute to the welfare and education of osteopathic medical students; to familiarize its members with the purpose and ideals of osteopathic medicine; to establish lines of communication with other health science students and organizations; and to prepare its members to meet social, moral, and ethical obligations of the osteopathic profession.