Thank you for your post to the blog (see Dr. Mychaskiw's post in comments below). I want to start out by saying that a feasibility study has not been submitted by the proposed Rhode Island School of Osteopathic Medicine to the Commission on Osteopathic College Accreditation (COCA) so it would be premature to say anything as to how the organizer of this projected school would structure its governance. However, the agendas of the COCA are posted to its website approximately 60 days in advance of a meeting and list actions to come before the COCA. You are welcome to present written testimony to the COCA in support of or in opposition to any developing COM, if that is your wish. You may also request to be present for oral testimony. Instructions for submitting such testimony, due 30 days in advance of the COCA meeting, are provided on the website.
What I can say is that since Rocky Vista University College of Osteopathic Medicine submitted a feasibility study requesting pre-accreditation from COCA six years ago, the Liaison Committee on Medical Education (LCME) has also received a request to accredit an allopathic medical school as a for-profit institution—Palm Beach Medical College in Florida. If you visit the LCME website, you’ll see it listed as an applicant school.
Regarding research and education, COCA has been clear in holding its accredited colleges of osteopathic medicine (COMs) to the requirements for research. Although not all COMs are as aggressive as the profession’s leaders in research, we have seen significant development in some of the institutions. As for education, the COMs have a record of curricular innovation in the first two years and in the latter two years with focused tracking programs. Many new COMs are aggressively developing new GME opportunities.
Lastly, I need to reiterate that the AOA does not start nor does it operate osteopathic medical education at the predoctoral and postdoctoral levels. Given the high level of interest by the Department of Justice in reviewing anti-trust activities of professional associations (trade or individual membership-based) that may violate the anti-trust laws, using a bully pulpit to exclude one group of competitors only increases the anti-trust risks to the AOA.