American Osteopathic Association

Advancing the distinctive philosophy and practice of osteopathic medicine

The Significance of the Osteopathic Pledge of Commitment: Continuing Lifelong Learning

By AOA Past President Norman E. Vinn, DO

Photo of Norman E. Vinn, DODuring my inaugural address, we discussed the concept of Guiding Principles. We identified these principles as the markers that we reference to make sure we’re moving the profession in the right direction. When reflecting on this line of the Osteopathic Pledge of Commitment—the promise we make to continue lifelong learning—the guiding principle of relevance comes to mind.

The house of medicine is constantly changing and evolving, from new technologies to run our practices more effectively to innovative treatments. It’s clear that we must remain committed to expanding the breadth of our medical knowledge, which allows us to remain relevant to our patients.

At the AOA, we’ve undertaken a number of efforts to help you fulfill the pledge to lifelong learning and remain a relevant organization to you:

  • Offering more than 40 AOA Category 1-A CME credits at OMED each year

  • Providing online CME opportunities, including a pilot program for Category 1-A credits

  • Working with specialty boards on Osteopathic Continuous Certification

In this past year of office, I have been constantly learning – about politics, about our COMs, about the Heroes, Guardians and Champions who have helped sustain our profession. In discussions with many osteopathic medical students, I have learned about their goals, their priorities, and about what makes the profession special to them as both a clinical way of life, and as a family. As the year comes to a close, I look forward to returning to clinical learning, and applying that learning each day in the care of my patients. 

Learning is a habit, and an avocation. It must be nurtured and sustained. The rewards of lifelong learning greatly impact both patients, and us personally.  

How are you committed to living this line of the Pledge? Share your thoughts in the comment section.


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