Today marks the beginning of a year-long excursion into the inner workings of health policy . This is installment one of my experience program, to be continued each of the next 365 days to promote awareness of the fellowship, highlight opportunity to get involved, transforming thought and feeling into action at local, regional, national levels and, admittedly, for my own processing.
I have considered the fellowship at various times in the past decade and, as with many sparks, it was a serendipitous combination – the kindling of interest under the increasingly intense rays of personal responsibility through the magnifying lens of our current political climate – that led to ignition and my entry into the Osteopathic Health Policy Fellowship (OHPF), Class of 2020.
We had the great privilege of spending the afternoon Barbara Ross-Lee, D.O. who has long been a trailblazer, educator and clinician in osteopathic medicine with countless accomplishments in professional leadership including founding the OHPF Program in 1993. With a style, breadth of experience and depth of knowing all her own, Dr. Ross-Lee asked us each about our “why” for participating in the fellowship. She pushed us to dig deeper, get clearer and understand that success in the program, and in policy development, begins and ends by explicitly demonstrating the benefit to the recipients of our service as physicians – the patients.
As I reflected on my own path to this moment and the program, there were glimmers of my time in medical education, shadows of the looming shifts in graduate medical education, flickers of the challenges and benefits of private practice, images of hope for equity in care and maintenance of respect for humanity and ultimately, front and center in the mirror of my values, that which drew me into this profession and remains at the forefront of my every thought, every breath, every encounter, every word written and spoken – honoring the health.
In our preparatory readings for orientation and others that emerged concurrently in the media, there was a call for organization – of physicians, together in order to create a stronger voice; of citizens engag