American Osteopathic Association

Advancing the distinctive philosophy and practice of osteopathic medicine

American Osteopathic Association President Calls for Gun Violence Research

Emergency Physician John W. Becher, DO, Cites Prevalence of Mass Shootings, Rising Fatality Rates in Urging Action to Stem Public Health Crisis

CHICAGO, June 16, 2016—American Osteopathic Association President John W. Becher, DO, an emergency physician, today issued a statement calling for legislators to fund Centers for Disease Control research into the causes and prevention of gun violence.

“Every American knows that gun violence has escalated dramatically, with mass shootings occurring so often as to become commonplace in our culture. What people don’t see is the increasing severity of victims' injuries. As a recent study found, death rates for hospitalized gunshot victims climbed an average of 6 percent every two years at one hospital while fatalities for other traumas declined.  More and more victims are arriving at our hospitals with two or more gunshot wounds and we as physicians are less able to save them.

“It is time for Congress to fund Centers for Disease Control research into the causes and prevention of gun violence. Osteopathic physicians are taught to find the root cause of disease and we urge legislators to help solve this unending public health crisis by investing in the scientific search for understanding. That is why the AOA's House of Delegates approved policy in support of funding CDC research to help address this public health crisis impacting our communities and nation.

"Our profession is grounded in the principle of prevention and as osteopathic physicians we are obligated to shift our attention from treating endless trauma to preventing further harm."

--Statement attributable to John W. Becher, DO, president of the American Osteopathic Association


About the American Osteopathic Association

The American Osteopathic Association (AOA) represents more than 123,000 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


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