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Legislative Affairs

February 2018

Public Service Loan Forgiveness

  • We have received a lot of stories so far! These stories have been incredibly helpful during hill meetings with members of Congress. The AAMC has been working as part of a coalition with other higher-ed groups to advocate for PSLF and other higher ed spending measures, and these stories are key to highlighting the importance and impact of these funding programs, because there is little data on the impact of these programs.
  • As a student, the most powerful tools we have are our voices and our stories. Sharing your story and encouraging others to do so is the best way to get involved; Thank you to everyone who has shared the link and shared their story, and let's keep the momentum going. Members of Congress really depend on the voices of their constituents to guide their decision making; Senator Patty Murray (D-Washington, Ranking Member of the Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee) is calling on students and educators to share their experiences in higher ed.
  • There is a website highlighting student stories and a social media campaign to come soon

Buprenorphine Waiver Training

  • Spoke with a UMass OSR about a project that students from other MA and RI medical schools are working on to allow all students to graduate with a certification to prescribe buprenorphine
  • The goal now is to get OSRs involved so we can ensure that that certification is valid in other states, and also to expand the initiative to the state and federal level

STAR (Seeking Transparency in the Application to Residency)

  • I had the opportunity to review the first and final draft of the STAR survey and offer feedback
  • Some new additions to the survey include: information about geographic relation to the program, whether or not you did an away rotation at the program, "did you take an additional year or more to do research?", breakdown of research experiences (abstracts vs posters vs presentations vs peer reviewed publications), volunteer experiences, leadership experiences
  • The MS1 OSR at UTSW is working on a website to organize the STAR data and present it in a more user friendly and efficient manner; she plans on making her code open source for other schools to use to build their own tools to analyze STAR data

Sanjana Balachandra
AAMC-OSR National Delegate for Legislative Affairs
University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center Southwestern Medical School
sanjana.balachandra@utsouthwestern.edu