MSS Committee on Legislative Awareness
Amit Suneja, Co Chair
Educating appropriate elected or appointed officials about legislation affecting medical students and health care in general is one of our top activities in the MSSNY MSS. Legislators from the district where you vote and/or go to school value your well-reasoned input. The legislative process can seem intimidating at first, so we have provided a couple of great places to get started. The MSSNY Grassroots Action Center is a continuously updated site where you can contact legislators directly regarding current health care issues. MSSNY supports pro-medicine candidates through its MSSNYPAC arm. Students can join the MSSNY PAC for only $10.
Every year MSSNY sponsors Physician Advocacy Day (previously Legislative Day) in Albany: a chance to meet with MSSNY physicians and leadership and lobby our state lawmakers. The next Advocacy Day is March 11, 2014. Every medical student is welcome and urged to attend. If you would like to attend the 2014 Advocacy Day event, please contact the MSSNY office or the Legislative Awareness chairs noted above.
The MSSNY MSS monitors the following issues closely:
Student debt: The impact of residency cuts on your ability to move forward with your career. Do you know what you would do if you graduated but could not find a residency position? How will you begin to pay your loans if you cannot complete your education? With MSSNY’s help we stalled plans to require commitments to work in underserved areas in order to qualify for in-state tuition rates at SUNY schools. We have successfully lobbied for legislation to increase the income limits for which student loan interest payments are tax deductible from $55,000 to $65,000 and to maintain low interest rates on loans. Medical students, with the help of our professional associations, have repealed the single lender rule.
Resident Work Hours: The MSSNY MSS continues to work closely with the Resident and Fellow Section to address the continuing problem of excessive resident work hours. An issue first brought to light here in New York State, resident work hours and their effect on the quality of graduate medical education and patient care continue to require monitoring.
The issue of medical liability reform affects all of us – even medical students. This issue continues to heat up as more and more physicians are forced to leave for a career in another state or leave the practice of medicine altogether. The weekly issue of MSSNY eNews addresses the liability situation and keeps us all up to date on the increasing burden of medical liability. As a physician of the future, you need to be familiar with this issue NOW!
If you have an issue that you would like more information on or you feel needs attention, contact us.