Government Staffers and Trade Association Leaders Become Docs for a Day

August 11, 2003

A group of government staffers and leaders of state and regional trade associations will don white coats on Tuesday, Aug. 12, and Wednesday, Aug. 13, to experience the challenges of becoming a practicing physician.

The two-day program - dubbed Project Medical Education by its sponsoring institution, the Association of Academic Medical Centers (AAMC) - is part of a nationwide effort to educate elected officials about the process of medical education, the benefits it provides, its complex funding mechanisms, and the essential role of government in providing financial support. With nearly 50 participants, the event at the University of Rochester Medical Center is the largest Project Medical Education program ever hosted by a member of the AAMC.

"We are delighted with the interest in this year’s program," said Denise Murphy McGraw, director of Government and Community Relations at the University of Rochester Medical Center. "We’ve put together an agenda that helps our guests to see the issues from the perspective of a new medical student or resident." The aim, according to Murphy McGraw, is to help elected leaders better understand how policies made in Albany or Washington, D.C. impact physicians, nurses, and patients in hospitals back home.

First-day sessions include a discussion of the admissions process and financial issues, as well as coursework and an opportunity to learn more about specific biomedical research underway at the Medical Center. On Wednesday morning, students will become medical residents, rotating to various patient care areas and attending an actual class in-progress, before graduating at noon.

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Germaine Reinhardt
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