Des Moines University students took over the Iowa State Capitol on April 13 for “DMU Day on the Hill.” Throughout the afternoon, DMU students performed blood pressure checks for legislators, staff and visitors in the Capitol rotunda. It was a wonderful change to apply clinical skills and have informal conversations with lawmakers on public policy issues important to their future practice and patients.
The day also included the signing of HF2341, which was unanimously passed to protect medical rotations from being purchased by off-shore medical schools. Iowa is just the second state to pass this legislation.
Meanwhile, 21 D.O. students were celebrating “DO Day on the Hill,” an annual event hosted by the American Osteopathic Association on the Hill in Washington, DC. Osteopathic physicians, residents and students met with their representatives to discuss issues pertinent to the profession. DMU students from all four classes advocated on behalf of their classmates.
“As students, our main focus was on student loans and the debt we acquire throughout medical school, as well as the high interest rates,” says Reeya Patel, D.O.’18, president of the DMU chapter of the Student Osteopathic Medical Association.
Most of the students met with members of Iowa’s congressional delegation: Congressman David Young, Senator Joni Ernst and Senator Charles Grassley. Others met with representatives of their home states of California, Wisconsin and Minnesota. In total, 1,200 people were representing the osteopathic profession at the Capitol.