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School and Program Updates

School and Program Updates

USC Med Students Discuss Health Care Policy with Legislators, Gain Firsthand Experience in Advocacy

Students in the Keck School of Medicine at the University of Southern California do more than learn to be physicians: A group of them got a taste of government policymaking after meeting with state legislators in Sacramento on June 6 and 7.

To give students firsthand experience in working with policymakers, professor of Clinical Preventive Medicine. Dr. Michael Cousineau regularly takes students on a trip to the capital as part of his Public Health Policy and Politics class, not just to meet state lawmakers but to seriously discuss health care policy concerns with them.

Dr. Cousineau’s most recent trip brought 10 policy students — eight MD/MPH students, one social work student and a PhD candidate — to the Capitol for one-on-one meetings with their individual elected representatives.

“Most of our work has been on access to care — financial needs, insurance coverage, Obamacare,” Dr. Cousineau said. “Increasingly, you have people with insurance cards, but they don’t know how to get access or make appointments.”

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