Advocacy is a vital part of the 52-year-old physician assistant (PA) profession, and PA students at the George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Sciences (SMHS) took time off from classes and studying to head to Capitol Hill to support their future profession.
“Hill Day gave my classmates and me an opportunity to learn new concepts and cross paths with people who have dedicated their lives to something completely different than we have,” said PA student Kristen Schoenike.
The students took part in advocacy training led by the Physician Assistant Education Association, followed by meetings on the Hill with congressional representatives. Students addressed two bills: the Physician Assistant Higher Education Modernization Act and the Physician Assistant Education Public Health Initiatives Act.
Many PA faculty members at SMHS hold leadership positions in some of the most influential PA organizations, which Schoenike said has taught her so much, and has helped to fuel her desire to take on these issues.