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Monday, July 13, 2009

Wow, what a time to have been President of the AOA! This past year has been a pivotal year for both our country and our profession. In recent months, plans that will forever change our health care system are beginning to take shape. It has been a great honor to attend and represent the osteopathic medical profession during these important meetings in our nation’s capitol. I firmly believe our health care system can be improved to better serve patients and those like us who stake our livelihoods on it.

Even with all that has gone on in the country at large, my focus has stayed consistently on osteopathic graduate medical education, which I believe is at a crisis point. You will hear about all the progress we’ve made as a profession in my farewell speech to the House of Delegates next week. A link to this speech will be posted on DO-Online soon after.

I hope you have enjoyed keeping in touch during my Presidential term. 2009-2010 President Larry A. Wickless, DO, will be taking over the blog next week after he is inaugurated. I encourage you to continue to make your voices heard through the blog and to remind you to remain constructive in your feedback.


Friday, June 12, 2009

Over the last month, the AOA’s efforts have garnered much attention in the media, thanks to our outstanding expert DOs.

The AOA worked with Laura M. Rosch, DO, to develop tips on healthy foods that easily fit into a purse. The information was submitted to a reporter for the Chicago Tribune, who then posted the information on her Tribune health blog.

On May 13, an article titled “How to Find the Right Osteopathic Physician” ran in several of the Gazette group community newspapers in Maryland. The article included comments from Tyler C. Cymet, DO, and background information on the osteopathic medical profession and DOs.

AOA’s Executive Director John B. Crosby, JD, also appeared in the media recently. John was quoted in the May 8 issue of Medical Economics magazine in an article about health care reform.

An article which featured Mary Beth Bollinger, DO, and discussed health considerations associated with bringing home a pet, was picked up by more than 80 online media outlets, including MSN Health & Fitness, Yahoo! News and the Web site for US News and World Report. The article was based on a press release distributed by the AOA in April in light of the First Family adopting a dog. Unfortunately, HealthDay, the wire service that distributed the article, in accordance with their style guidelines removed Dr. Bollinger’s credentials, but the osteopathic medical profession did receive recognition.

As always, you can keep track of media highlights of DOs and osteopathic medicine by visiting the AOA Media Center on DO-Online, under advocacy.


Monday, June 08, 2009

On June 22, the AOA will hold its first-ever Town Hall Meeting Webinar to discuss current health care reform legislation being drafted and considered by our government. As evidenced by your active participation on this blog, I know you have many comments on what is going on in health care today and may have some questions that need answering. This is your opportunity to ask questions while receiving up-to-date information. The AOA wants to make sure that every member of the osteopathic medical profession is educated and informed on the developing health care reform proposals. The event will also provide an overview of the AOA’s legislative and advocacy agenda.

Register here for this Web-based Town Hall Meeting. You must register by 5pm CDT on June 22 to participate. There is no cost to participate.

To submit questions in advance or to get more information on the AOA’s Town Hall Meeting, email You can learn more about the AOA’s resources on health care reform by logging into DO-Online and clicking on Health System Reform under the Advocacy tab (please note: you must be registered user of DO-Online to view this page).


Monday, June 01, 2009

I am thrilled that the AOA Convention will take place in exciting New Orleans this year. We’ll be able to enjoy the city while reconnecting with former classmates and staying up to date on the latest developments in pharmaceuticals and health technology. This year, the convention offers up to 45 hours of Category 1-A CME credit.

Registration for AOA members is offered at a reduced rate and an even greater reduced rate for retired DOs and residents. As always, interns and osteopathic medical students receive free registration to convention, along with a guide titled, “A Student’s Guide to Convention,” which will help you plan which events to attend.

I hope you will join me, our 2009-2010 AOA President Larry A. Wickless, DO, and thousands from our osteopathic family for the 2009 AOA Convention in New Orleans. You can register, reserve your hotel room, and preview the tentative convention program today on DO-Online.


Wednesday, May 27, 2009

I believe the strength of the osteopathic family resides within the connections between its members. One of the best programs for strengthening these connections is the AOA’s iLEARN Mentor Program, which pairs osteopathic medical students, interns, residents and new physicians in practice with experienced DOs. Through the program, mentors provide invaluable advice at different stages of your career and can help you network in your specialty area. If you are a part of the iLEARN Mentor program as either a mentor or a mentee, I sincerely thank you for your contribution to strengthening our osteopathic family. And if you are not, I urge you to get involved.

For those of you that have a mentor and believe he/she is worthy of the prestigious title of Mentor of the Year, you can now submit a nomination for the 2009 Mentor of the Year Award. Visit the new iLEARN Web site on DO-Online and submit your nomination by July 20.


Monday, May 18, 2009

Michigan DO, I deleted your posts because I felt you were disrespectful in your comments to RVUCOM students. Please show some respect. These students are worried about their futures and they don't need to hear comments about their selection of osteopathic medical school from you. So yes, I will delete any posts that I feel are unnecessarily rude.


Wednesday, May 13, 2009

As you all know, there is a very real danger of a primary care physician as well as a general surgeon shortage in the near future. The AOA recognizes the importance of this issue and supports legislation and changes to the current health care system that would provide appropriate incentives to those medical students interested in specializing in primary care or general surgery. The latest video from AOA Executive Director, John B. Crosby, JD, on the AOA’s YouTube Channel deals with the physician workforce shortage issue and explains what the AOA is doing about it. You can view the video here.

In addition to the points John makes in his video, the AOA is in support of a bill introduced on May 5 by Senators Bill Nelson (D-FL), Harry Reid (D-NV), and Charles Schumer (D-NY) titled, “Resident Physician Shortage Reduction Act of 2009.” This legislation seeks to establish new residency programs in primary care and general surgery and increase the nation’s training capacity by 15 percent over the next 3 years.


Monday, May 04, 2009

Some Student, you clearly have no idea what you are talking about but again like to put out information that is not accurate. You’re also quite active on the blog but you still failed to mention why you went to osteopathic medical school. I’m curious to know. Please do tell. It seems that you are the one who hates the osteopathic medical profession. What year are you? There may be still time for you to transfer to an MD school if they’ll even take you.

But before you leave, here are a few things you should know:

You state:
Just look at the way they explain our profession"Osteopathic Physicians (D.O.) are fully-licensed to prescribe medicine and practice in all specialty areas including surgery. D.O.s are trained to consider the health of the whole person and use their hands to help diagnose and treat patients"

This definition came out of research with consumers/patients…quantitiative and qualitative research.

1-Send a representative to the AMA they already offered and we were too arrogant to accept
False. We have sent an observer for a number of years now.

2-Combine the match and make our lives a lot easier. The AOA reasoning in this matter would only convince an idiot
I think you should stop thinking about yourself. I’ve addressed this multiple times.

3-Quit charging us 40k/year plus for a 10k worth of education
Do you really think the AOA sets tuition prices?

4-Stop pushing family practice on us. There is no money in family practice and it would be difficult to pay the debt the DO education cheats us out of.
Didn’t you know that family practice was the foundation of osteopathic medicine? Aren’t you aware that 8 osteopathic medical schools were ranked in the top 10 primary care medical schools in a recent issue of “US News & World Report?” We encourage DOs to become specialists too but the foundation is family practice. Yes, pay is not that high but we are working hard to make sure there are some incentives for students deciding to go into the primary care areas of medicine. We agree the pay should be higher.

5-Stop advertising the hands on treatment, numbers don't lie and that's about 5% of DOs
Sure. We’ll just listen to you and do away with a treatment that’s a part of what makes DOs different (we do not promote that it’s the only thing). Should we just disband their specialty college too and turn away DOs who practice OMM?

6-Quit using cranial
DOs can decide for themselves if they want to use cranial just like they can decide for themselves if they want to use OMM.

7-Allow us to take usmle only+OMM, comlex was a terrible and out of scope test.
COMLEX doesn’t just include OMM it includes OPP too.

8-allow MD and acgme/DO to become program directors
We’ve heard this comment and have noted it.

9-get rid of the closed communist system of the good ol boys club and the biased house of delegates.
Get involved and you can make a change.

10-one DO one vote get in in your tiny heads
Sure. Our government works that way, right?

11-you are addressing and governing smart individuals so quit giving us childish excuses no one is buying into your propaganda
I actually believe what I post and do not appreciate you referring to me taking the time to participate in this blog childish. Have some respect.

12-To Carlo please answer our questions in the thread instead of opening new meaningless threads.
Go back and read the way my blog functions. I’ve posted this numerous times.


Wednesday, April 08, 2009

This morning, I attended a White House meeting focused on reforming our nation’s health care system. Today’s discussion focused on the numerous policy issues that must be addressed if we are going to succeed in our efforts to increase access to affordable and quality health care for all Americans. As President of the AOA, I had the opportunity to share my thoughts on several policy issues that the AOA currently is working on in this respect. One of the issues I raised was the growing problem of medical education debt, its impact upon career choice and practice location, and the need to enact reforms that will ease the financial burdens placed upon osteopathic medical students and residents as a result of rising education debt. In conjunction with today’s meeting, the AOA through the Grassroots Osteopathic Advocacy Link (GOAL), launched a campaign aimed at advancing the “Medical Economic Deferment for Students (MEDS) Act" (S. 646/H.R. 1615). This important legislation would reinstate the debt-to-income ratio pathway ("20/220 pathway") used by many medical residents to qualify for economic hardship loan deferment. I urge you to join the AOA in this effort by sending letters to your Members of Congress requesting that they support this legislation. To participate in this advocacy campaign go to and send your letters today. To see me address these issues at the meeting go to I appear at approximately the 57th minute if you don't have time to watch all two hours of the meeting.


Friday, April 03, 2009

I know often times I have said that if you don’t like the way things are running then you should get involved to help change them. Well, here’s your chance. President-elect Wickless is now accepting nominations for open positions within the AOA’s Bureaus, Councils and Committees. Both individuals and organizations may nominate individuals for consideration and individuals can also nominate themselves. The deadline to submit nominations is May 1, 2009, and nominations should be sent to

Visit DO-Online to view the AOA Appointment Book. Please note that any position with 2009 in the right-hand column represents an opening.

I hope you all will consider this great opportunity to get more involved. If you have any questions, contact


Thursday, March 26, 2009

If you are entering the board certification process after July 1, 2009, I have some very important information for you regarding changes to the board eligibility policy for AOA certification.

As of July 1, 2009, candidates will have six years to be board eligible and complete the certification process. If a candidate has not obtained final certification at the end of six years, the candidate will not be eligible for certification unless he/she petitions the Certifying Specialty Board. If granted permission, the candidate must start at the beginning of the process and will have two attempts to pass each step of the examination. If this does not result in certification, the candidate must re-petition the Board and go through the same process. If the candidate remains unsuccessful, there will be no further opportunities to become board certified.

Certification is extremely important within our profession, so please read through these policy changes carefully, as outlined in the resolution set forth and approved by the Bureau of Osteopathic Specialists in July 2008 here. If you have any questions, please contact the AOA Division of Certification at 800-621-1773, ext. 8266.


Monday, March 23, 2009

I think I’ve asked this question before but I would like to hear the reasons why you wanted to be a DO. With so much discussion about changing the degree designation and insistence that you don’t practice osteopathic medicine, I think it would be helpful for me to hear why you selected an osteopathic medical school. Please let me know. I think this will help me and the AOA to better understand this ongoing active discussion on the blog.


Thursday, March 19, 2009

In an effort to offer more CME opportunities to DOs, the AOA, in association with the North Carolina Osteopathic Medical Association, will host its first-ever Regional Osteopathic Medical Education (ROME) conference in Myrtle Beach, SC, this May. I think this is a great opportunity to not only earn up to 26 hours of Category 1-A CME and visit with your fellow DOs, but also to enjoy a sunny vacation with your family in a beautiful destination. For more information on the program and to register for the conference, which will take place at the Marriott Myrtle Beach Resort and Spa at Grande Dunes May 7-9, visit the ROME section of DO-Online here. All those who register by April 1 will receive an early bird discount. I hope to see you there!


Thursday, March 12, 2009

Recently, Medpedia, the world’s largest collaborative online encyclopedia of medicine, launched. Over the last few months, the AOA has been working with Medpedia to contribute entries to the site about DOs, osteopathic medicine and the AOA. We also created an AOA group page on Medpedia’s professional network (similar to LinkedIn).

The goal of Medpedia is to become a free resource of up-to-date unbiased medical information. While the public is welcome to view the site, only doctors who sign up to be contributors to Medpedia are allowed to add or edit content on the site.

I envision that this will become a great resource to the public, as well as to members of the medical profession and see great value in our involvement at such an early stage. You can view the encyclopedia at


Sunday, March 01, 2009

Today marks the first day of National Osteopathic Medicine (NOM) Week 2009 - a week to come together as a profession and focus our efforts on raising awareness of DOs and osteopathic medicine. I’m excited to report that in addition to the AOA, three affiliate organizations applied and received grants to host their own Mini-Medical School events to promote DOs during March. During these Mini-Medical Schools, volunteer DOs and osteopathic medical students will educate children on proper health and nutrition at fun and interactive health stations. The affiliate organizations are: Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine Bradenton; Lincoln Memorial University - DeBusk College of Osteopathic Medicine; and the student chapter of the American College of Osteopathic Pediatricians, in partnership with the Pikeville College School of Osteopathic Medicine. I know these will all be great events!

In Chicago, AOA staff will get involved by promoting DOs and osteopathic medicine to the public on Chicago’s busy Magnificent Mile and by e-mailing friends and family information about the profession.

What will you do in your area to promote DOs and osteopathic medicine now and throughout the year? Check out the AOA’s Osteopathic Public Awareness Network resources that you can use to help promote the profession by logging in to DO-Online.

This is going to be a great week for our profession. Let’s all get involved and do our part to promote DOs and osteopathic medicine.