ACEP/EMRA Medical Student Elective in Healthcare Policy and Government Relations

Course Description

This course is designed to provide medical students who intend to enter into Emergency Medicine (EM) with the opportunity to research legislative issues pertinent to the practice of EM, and to gain hands-on experience as an advocate for the profession through interactions with local, state and/or federal legislators. Students will work with representatives from ACEP’s Washington, DC office and from their State Chapter office, to determine an appropriate research focus, and to schedule meetings with legislators and their staff members. This is intended to be a 1-month/4 week experience, during which 2 weeks will be spent with ACEP’s Washington, DC staff. The remaining time should be spent at the student’s home institution working closely with the State Chapter office staff.


This course is reserved for 4th year medical students with current ACEP/EMRA membership, and is designed to be for elective credit, however, individuals not seeking credit are still encouraged to apply.

Application Process

Applications are due by July 15 of each year. Interested students must submit the following documents to

• CV
• Letter of Interest outlining your commitment to EM and proposed area of research (one page)
• Letter of Support - from ACEP State Chapter leadership
• Letter of Support - from university giving approval for the elective

Course Advisors

The student will report to a designated representative from his/her home institution for elective credit purposes, and to representatives from the State Chapter office and ACEP Washington, DC office.

Course Outline and Expectations

After acceptance, the student should discuss reasonable research goals regarding their proposed healthcare policy topic with their university and State Chapter advisors. The student should receive clear parameters for completing a project report on their chosen topic that will contain the following components:

• Description of the issue, including a detailed history and its relevance to EM
• Clearly identify the need for changes and what groups will benefit if changes are made
• Critique of previous and current efforts to improve the issue
• Challenges anticipated or encountered
• Discussion of potential or current outcomes

In addition, the student is expected to participate in direct communication with local, state and/or federal legislators and staff members under the supervision and direction of ACEP Washington, DC and State Office personnel. The student is expected to commit at least 45 hours per week at a minimum to the project, on-site and/or off-site. Throughout the course, consistent contact and updates should be provided to all student advisors, and appropriate alterations to the project can be made if necessary. Appropriate deadlines for project report completion should be clearly defined by the student’s university advisor. The student will also be expected to present his/her project at a State Chapter event, i.e. board of directors meeting, or other leadership event.


The course evaluation will be the responsibility of the student’s university advisor. As stated, any academic requirements for elective credit should be clearly described and agreed upon by the student and his/her university advisor upon acceptance. Feedback regarding the student’s performance and experience will be provided to the student and university advisor by ACEP Washington, DC office representatives and State Chapter office representatives.


EMRA will provide a stipend of $1500 each for 2 students per year. Two additional students per year may be offered unfunded elective/internship acceptance (depending on availability in the DC Office).

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