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Advocacy for Osteopathic Licensure
President Ajluni wrote to the West Virginia State Legislature on 2/19/08 regarding SB 554, which relates to osteopathic physician and surgeon licensing requirements. President Ajluni expressed the AOA’s strong opposition to the bill, which would eliminate the state’s requirement that DO graduates complete an osteopathic first-year of postdoctoral training. In addition, the language of the bill itself as submitted contains several inaccuracies, incorrectly listing what entities can approve postgraduate training programs and who administers the osteopathic licensing examination. Read the full letter online
I support the bill - with the exception of the technical errors. West Virginia will be a state especially prone to physician shortages. As the raw number of osteopathic graduates increases, supporting antiquated laws that limit physician practice are silly. We're all in this together. My allegiance it to my patients and all my potential patients...not to the AOA or my degree. Bravo to the sponsors and supporters of the bill in WV. Let's get FL, MI, etc on board!
In response to your comments about West Virginia’s SB 554 regarding licensure requirements for osteopathic physicians and surgeons, the AOA has been working with the West Virginia Osteopathic Board, the West Virginia Society of Osteopathic Medicine, and the West Virginia School of Osteopathic Medicine regarding the state’s requirement that the first year of postgraduate training for DO graduates be osteopathic. All of these parties are in agreement that this licensure requirement should be maintained, not abolished as SB 554 would do.
The US Department of Education recognizes the Commission on Osteopathic College Accreditation (COCA) as the sole accrediting body for colleges of osteopathic medicine, distinguishing osteopathic medicine from allopathic medicine. Likewise, osteopathic postgraduate training is separate and distinct from its allopathic counterpart to give DO graduates more options when considering their internship and residency training.
The osteopathic profession will not amalgamate into the allopathic profession, as a very small minority would like to do. The licensing boards in the 50 states, the District of Columbia, and US territories recognize COCA’s determinations and those of the Liaison Committee on Medical Education as the “gold standard” for osteopathic and allopathic medical school accreditation. As long as we set the gold standard, you can be assured that the AOA will not begin operating under anybody else’s standards.
Notwithstanding the above, AOA Resolution 42, a policy recently enacted by the AOA House of Delegates, is currently being amended in order to provide more accommodation to DOs who opt for allopathic postgraduate training instead of an osteopathic first year. The changes, which will go before the House this July, aim to reduce the burden of having the osteopathic postgraduate training year waived.
Thanks for your reply Mr. Crosby. I have some short rebuttals.
1. Osteopathic residency programs do NOT give graduates more options. If that were true, there would be no need for approximately 50% of recent graduates to match in the allopathic process. Fact is, without that opportunity, a lot of us osteopathic grads would have been s*rewed! Second, there are shortages or a complete lack of residencies in fields such as pathology, neurology, psychiatry and others. The "more options" argument is false.
2. You stated, "The osteopathic profession will not amalgamate into the allopathic profession, as a very small minority would like to do." Well, I don't know about the AOA, but actual real living practicing DO's amalgamate into the allopathic profession every day when we read radiology reports, discuss pathology reports, call consults or even discuss an interesting case with a partner (God forbid a DO actually join a group of MD's). Additionally, when you state that "a very small minority" of DO's would prefer to amalgamate into the allopathic profession, I believe you greatly underestimate the number. Apparently, the AOA thought the issue large enough to put it on the cover of the latest issue of "DO." Despite the lack of formal polling data, the article implies that more than a small minority of DO's desire change. In my experience, a majority of osteopathic doctors and students desire more amalgamation and teamwork. And lets remind ourselves of the percentage of DO's that use OMM on a daily basis...if ever.
3. The AOA is adverse to changing DO to DOM or OMD, however it approves and actually uses the term Osteopathic Medical Student(OMS) in its official publications. So students can practice medicine but graduates can only practice osteopathy? Ouch. OMS graduates to OMD...seems intuitive to me!!
4. COCA and LCME may be "gold standards" on paper, but I know of several "flagship" osteopathic hospitals where the practice of OMM by osteopathic interns is severely limited or outlawed. Ironically, some of these hospitals are in the "5 states!" Where's the distinctiveness? Save for licensing eligibility in the "5 states" why would any graduate spend an extra year forebearing loans and getting older when a better opportunity awaited?
1. Hello, I am wondering anyone can clarify the rules for obtaining Osteopathic License in West Virginia. I am a 3rd year DO student and am very interested in the Rural Family Medicine Residency in Harpers Ferry, WV (there are NO AOA programs in Eastern WV or all of Maryland, DC or Northern Va). Unfortunately this program is ACGME (a WVU administered program) and not AOA approved (despite on site OMT practitioners and opportunities). It is my understanding that in order to obtain my license in WV I must attend an AOA approved internship program. Does this allow me to apply to the AOA to obtain approval of this ACGME program I desire to attend or do I have to attend a previously established and accredited AOA internship prior to applying to this ACGME program.
I hope my question is straight forward and not confusing.
2. Oh and as for those advocating the OMD degree change there is already a health profession granting that degree, it is Oriental Medical Doctor (that is a Dr of Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine) Strange that all these smart people making a well constructed argument failed to research the title they were advocating for. Maybe it is a sign to let the name be as it has for the last century and educate those that dont know the difference through our practice and through the AOA.