American Osteopathic Association

Advancing the distinctive philosophy and practice of osteopathic medicine

American Osteopathic Association Statement on Institute of Medicine Report on Graduate Medical Education Finance and Governance

Media Statement
July 29, 2014

Statement attributable to American Osteopathic Association President Robert S. Juhasz, DO
 

(WASHINGTON, D.C.) — The A​merican Osteopathic Association (AOA), the national professional membership organization for the nation’s more than 104,000 osteopathic physicians (DOs) and osteopathic medical students, applauds members of the Institute of Medicine’s Committee on the Governance and Financing of Graduate Medical Education (GME) for their work on the comprehensive report, Graduate Medical Education That Meets The Nation’s Health Needs. Specific acknowledgment goes out to Barbara Ross-Lee, DO, Vice President for Health Science and Medical Affairs, New York Institute of Technology, for representing the osteopathic medical profession. 

The AOA supports the committee’s recommendations to modernize the GME system in service of national health care objectives, and encourages members of Congress to pass legislation that aligns continued federal funding with these goals, and promotes accountability, transparency and innovation within the GME system. 

The AOA, which serves as the accrediting body for osteopathic GME, has long been an innovator in medical education, and continues to work to strengthen the quality of GME offered to osteopathic trainees. In fact, the report recognizes the AOA and the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) for their actions to remodel GME to better prepare physicians to practice in the rapidly evolving U.S health care system.

The AOA, ACGME, and the American Association of Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine (AACOM) are working together to design a single accreditation system for all GME programs in the U.S. The new system, when fully implemented in 2020, will eliminate the need for parallel oversight and governance structures, helping to reduce costs and promote quality and efficiency, as evaluation of the competency of new MDs and DOs becomes consistent across all training programs.

The osteopathic medical profession has had a long history of producing community-based primary care physicians, whom as the report notes are vitally needed.  More than 60% of DOs practice in primary care, and are helping to provide access to care for patients in underserved communities. 

Recognizing the need for evolution in GME training, the AOA and AACOM established a blue-ribbon commission to recommend changes needed to prepare primary care physicians for twenty-first century practice. The commission’s report, published in the November 2013 issue of Health Affairs, recommends that medical schools and their GME partners create a new education model based on achievement of competencies, not completing a prescribed number of months of study. ​

The AOA looks forward to further review and consideration of the committee’s recommendations, and is committed to bringi​ng forth additional innovative solutions that ensure future generations of physicians are prepared and positioned to meet the evolving health needs of all Americans.

What is a DO?

DOs are licensed physicians who can prescribe medication and practice in all specialty areas, including surgery, in the United States. They complete approximately four years of medical school followed by graduate medical education through internship and residency programs typically lasting three to eight years. In addition, DOs receive extra training in the musculoskeletal system, providing them with an in-depth knowledge of the ways that illness or injury in one part of the body can affect another. As one of the fastest-growing segments of health care professionals in the nation, the number of DOs has grown more than 200% during the past 25 years.

About the American Osteopathic Association

The American Osteopathic Association (AOA) proudly represents its professional family of more than 104,000 osteopathic physicians (DOs) and osteopathic medical students; promotes public health; encourages scientific research; serves as the primary certifying body for DOs; and is the accrediting agency for osteopathic medical schools. More information on DOs/osteopathic medicine can be found at www.osteopathic.org.​

Media Contact:

Nicole Grady
(800) 621-1773, ext. 8038
ngrady@osteopathic.org

Twitter: @AOAforMedia ​​

 

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