The third in-person session of the Osteopathic Health Policy Fellowship brings us to Washington D.C. as we move from local to state to federal policy development. With a wide variety of experts, discussion with my classmates and directors, work on assignments and exploring the proximal Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine there is much to be done and long-term outcome for each of us yet to be determined. In the present moment, I am fully embracing the opportunity to explore each of the cities – some for the first time and others through a new lens.
August brought my second visit to Columbus – the first was a weekend years ago, lecturing and teaching residents at Nationwide Children’s Hospital. I remember a lovely breakfast, a record store and visiting the Rogue headquarters as a CrossFit novice. The extended stay of the fellowship landed me in the heart of the city with an entirely new perspective and immersive experience. Warm summer evenings allowed for exploration, facilitated by city bike share including stops at a quirky book store and delightful ice cream shops. I was able to embrace what had long been considered a rival location and appreciate such a lovely city only a quarter day’s drive from my childhood hometown.
October was also a second visit for me to greater Philadelphia but my first time fully in the city. My initial visit was consumed by a full day of boards and my experience of the city came only in the review of my husband’s photo shoot taken over the 12 hours I was in mock patient evaluations. While not directly in Center City, the location offered opportunity to run along Boathouse Row and I was transfixed by the experience. The buildings, the lights, the history while keeping pace with a single as I made my way into town. Followed by a visit with my sister hitting all the major landmarks, I marveled at the proximity of major East Coast cities.
December brings me to Washington D.C. – a city I have visited more times than I can count or recall. From my first experience as an eight-year-old, visiting that same sister as she made her home in a neighboring Maryland city to Thanksgiving weekends spent wandering through the lights of the National Zoo with my own eight-year-old. Once more the shift of location has created opportunity to explore the city on a whole new level. Walking the streets, running through the monuments, engaging in local gyms, enjoying food with welcome opportunity to once again see my sister.
With seven sessions remaining in cities both familiar and foreign to me, I welcome the experience of learning through location alongside lectures, discovery as well as discussion and adventure in addition to assignment.
May we embrace the opportunity to broaden our perspective on all levels as active learners in the experience of the many locations of life.