JMU PA Students Visit Richmond Legislature
By: Hannah Austin
Posted: January 29, 2013
On Thursday, January 17, eight Physician Assistant Students from James Madison University traveled to Richmond to participate for the first time in the Medical Society of Virginia’s “White Coats On-Call Day.” The lobby day was organized through association with the Virginia Academy of Physician Assistants; however, medical specialty societies and members of MSV’s ten districts collaborate to maintain consistent presence of physician’s influence at the capitol. The students met with local legislators House Delegate Tony Wilt and Senator Emmett Hanger to discuss solutions to challenges currently facing the Virginia health care system. Issues on VAPA’s docket this year include inefficacies in the Medicaid system, upholding standards of patient-physician relationship, liability and worker’s compensation reforms, and a “scope of practice” pledge that unites physicians in cross-specialty cooperation and support of policy that promote the best patient care.
Courtney Capstack, Physician Assistant Master’s student and VAPA member said of the experience, “It was great to experience lobby day and meet our congressmen. I was surprised how approachable and willing to speak with us they were. Most of them were unaware of some of the issues we brought to them, but they all seemed receptive to our concerns. I think it is important for JMU students to attend lobby days and participate in other VAPA events, both to give a voice to the University outside of Harrisonburg and remind our political leaders that college students are concerned about political issues that can impact our daily practice."
All physicians, physician assistants, residents, health administrators, students, and other friends of medicine are invited by MSV and VAPA to take part in White Coat on Call Days. Membership to either organization is not required, but encouraged. To learn more and find upcoming lobby dates, visit http://www.vapa.org/ .
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