It’s hard to believe that my term as AOA president will be ending in just a couple of weeks. Over the course of the year, I’ve had the chance to meet so many of you. I’ve traveled to more than 30 state osteopathic medical associations, osteopathic specialty societies and other organizations within the family. That’s along with the 29 colleges of osteopathic medicine, branch campuses and additional locations I visited. It’s been quite an experience having this opportunity and sharing a message that I believe stands for what we’re all about as a profession—"thinking osteopathically."
As my term as AOA president comes to an end, the time has also come to bid farewell to the AOA President’s Blog, which debuted six years ago. It has been a great avenue for open and, at times, heated discussions. While we’ll no longer have the blog, our online presence is as strong as ever. Friend us, follow us and join us in the social media realm. You’ll find us on Facebook, where we have a page for the profession and for the public. We’re also active on Twitter and LinkedIn. I urge you to stay connected to the AOA, as well as your peers, and continue the conversation through these platforms. And as I sign off on the AOA President’s Blog one last time, always remember to "think osteopathically."
With the AOA Annual Business Meeting just a few weeks away, resolutions to go before the AOA Board of Trustees and House of Delegates are now available on Osteopathic.org for comment. As one of my final tasks as AOA President, I’d like to ask you to take part in this important process by reviewing these resolutions and submitting your comments. I believe it is vitally important that all voices within the osteopathic family are heard.
Looking through the new resolutions put forth this year, of which there are over 60, you will find many that pertain to the critical issues facing our profession today, such as osteopathic graduate medical education (B-15, B-27, H-200, H-206, H-208, and others); for-profit medical education (H-211); discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity (H-500); and ICD-10 (H-611).
Once your comments are received and reviewed, your elected delegates will work together to vote on these policies and ensure that the osteopathic medical profession continues to move forward with a unified voice and mission. To comment on any of the resolutions to be acted on, send an email with the resolution number and title to email@example.com.
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.
This October, I’m heading to San Diego for one of my favorite yearly events, OMED, the AOA’s Osteopathic Medical Conference & Exposition. Aside from being the largest osteopathic medical meeting in the world and offering the most AOA Category 1-A CME credit of any other conference, it unites our profession, reminding us of our osteopathic roots.
I have talked a lot about “Thinking Osteopathically” during my term as AOA President and OMED is one place where there are so many opportunities to put that notion into practice. Whether you’re attending a didactic section, volunteering at a community outreach project, or reconnecting with your fellow alumni, I assure you that your osteopathic foundation will be strengthened.
If you haven’t already, take a look at the newly-released OMED 2012 Preliminary Program. It contains a day-by-day schedule of conference-wide events, descriptions of the didactic sessions from the 14 participating specialty groups, and highlights of the Exhibit Hall and our fabulous destination city, San Diego.
Please join me and thousands of your osteopathic family members in early October at OMED 2012! Register today.
Traveling around the country as AOA President, I am often
confronted with the worries of DOs and osteopathic medical students.
Osteopathic Continuous Certification (OCC), in particular, is a topic that I
hear a lot about lately. With the implementation of OCC coming up in January 2013,
I know there are questions out there. I want you to know that the AOA is listening,
and we are here to help.
Next week, the AOA is hosting a live webinar entitled “What
is Osteopathic Continuous Certification?” During the webinar, Ronald E.
Ayres, DO, and Stephen M. Scheinthal, DO, will discuss the new OCC requirements
for osteopathic physicians with time-limited certificates. Register
now to attend the webinar on May 30, at 8:30 p.m. EST.
The AOA has also launched the second leg of the Are We There Yet? Osteopathic Family
Road Trip, which asks members to answer a couple questions about the important
changes up ahead and to watch a video on OCC.
The video answers questions about why OCC is being implemented in the
first place; what it means in terms of time, resources, and money; and who you
should contact to find more information about your specific requirements.
OCC is an important element in advancing the osteopathic
medical profession. It incorporates performance assessment and improvement into
the maintenance of your AOA board certification and answers the call of
regulatory bodies to integrate this crucial component. I hope you take the time
to learn more about it by joining the webinar or taking part in the osteopathic
family road trip at www.osteopathic.org/arewethereyet.
It’s hard to believe that graduation season is underway. Over the weekend, I attended the ATSU-KCOM commencement to give the keynote address but also to see my nephew, David, and his fiancée, Krystin Engelhardt, earn their DO degrees. I’m very proud to say that they represent 20 and 21 in terms of the number of DOs in the Steinbaum-Levine family!
Class of 2012, as you get set to begin the next phase of your career, remember to "think osteopathically." Practice up to the education and training you’ve received from your osteopathic medical school. Use the knowledge and tools you now have to give your patients the care they deserve. Observe, listen and be compassionate. Your patients will be forever grateful, and you’ll be living up to the DO degree you worked so hard to obtain.
Congratulations, and I wish you the very best!
Did you know that coverage resulting from AOA media relations efforts have netted an estimated audience of more than 400 million in 2010 and 2011 each year? We're aiming to reach that number and hopefully exceed it in 2012.
Recently, we launched the AOA’s “Live a Full Life with Fibro” campaign. Our spokesperson Jennifer Caudle, DO, spoke with a number of reporters including an editor from Good Housekeeping to familiarize the public about this disease. Another AOA member, Ronald V. Marino, DO, discussed the DOs’ whole-person approach to caring for patients and the use of OMT in treating children and adults during an interview on “On Call for Kids,” a live program broadcast on SiriusXM Satellite Radio station Doctor Radio. This is just a sampling of where you’ll see or hear us in the media. Be sure to check out our Media Center for a better idea of our coverage.
But, we can all do our part to promote the profession as well. One of the easiest ways you can help is to take advantage of Health for the Whole Family articles provided by the AOA. Every month, you’ll receive an article highlighting a health topic. You can make copies of them for your waiting room or even submit them to your local newspaper or hospital newsletter. Email firstname.lastname@example.org to start receiving these articles. Together, we can promote the profession and educate the public so they no longer have to ask, “What is a DO?”
Last week, the AOA released results of its recent survey on patient health care spending. Like me, you probably won’t be too surprised to hear that three out of 10 respondents admitted to skipping visits with their primary health care provider to save money. As osteopathic physicians, we know how difficult it can be for our patients to afford proper health care and preventive care is often the first thing to be cut from the budget.
To combat this trend, the AOA, with the help of AOA Media Spokesperson, Matt B. Ajluni, DO, put together a Savvy Patient Checklist. The checklist features questions patients can ask their physician, insurance provider, and employer that could help in reducing health care costs, like asking about generic drug alternatives or free prescription samples. The checklist also includes resources people can utilize to stay healthy, including health calculators, food and exercise logs, and potential sources to obtain health insurance.
I’d like to thank Dr. Ajluni for assisting in getting this important information out to the public. If you would like to join the AOA’s Media Spokesperson’s Network, please fill out this form. The AOA depends on members like you to serve as health experts when the media calls. It is just another way you can help promote our great profession.
What a great time of year! We’re right in the middle of National Osteopathic Medicine (NOM) Week, April 15-21. I have already seen many examples of how osteopathic family members are joining the effort to promote the distinct care DOs provide, including NOM Week city proclamations and community events, like Mini Medical Schools and health fairs. In Chicago, the AOA is advertising on Chicago’s busy public transportation, reaching millions of people. How are you “thinking osteopathically” and promoting it during NOM Week?
One way you can get involved is to sign the NOM Week Pledge on Osteopathic.org. The pledge asks DOs, osteopathic medical students, and supporters of the profession to show their commitment to volunteerism, since NOM Week coincides exactly with National Volunteer Week. Take the pledge today to help us show how the osteopathic medical profession goes above and beyond to care for our communities.
You can also help by spreading the word about the AOA’s online Mini Medical School, which just launched this week. The Mini Medical School is a fun and engaging way for young children to learn about health, fitness, and how their growing bodies work. Pass the link to elementary teachers you know or parents with young children.
There are many ways to get involved in NOM Week this year. Visit the NOM Week page of Osteopathic.org for more ideas and to learn more about the AOA’s NOM Week activities.
Being part of this profession we’re used to making some difficult decisions—where should I earn my DO degree; which specialty should I enter; and what program should I select as my top choice for continuing my training?
As DOs, we have a responsibility to help our patients make some tough decisions, too, especially about end-of-life care. Did you know that while 70% of Americans have thought about advance directives, only 29% actually have a living will? With National Healthcare Decisions Day taking place on April 16, this provides a good time to discuss the subject with your patients. It’s certainly not an easy topic to broach but an important one to ensure that your patients’ wishes are clear when they may not be able to speak for themselves.