Challenges and Opportunities
By James S. Mason, DO, FAOAO
Winter is fast approaching and another calendar year is almost gone. As I write this article, I realize that change is constant. Our organization has many challenges and opportunities that lie ahead. In the past few years we have seen many changes: Obamacare, a unified GME accreditation system, Osteopathic Continuous Certification (OCC), and our new AOAO Foundation.
I certainly have strategic priorities for the coming year, but one of the things I intend to stress during my leadership is that the AOAO President should promote the agenda of the AOAO. I think it is important that each President work in concert with what was done in the past and try to keep the general direction of the AOAO on a relatively stable course. As we enter a new year, I want to assure you that I will do all I can to support the AOAO and all of its members.
The single accreditation system has been a much discussed topic, and will be for years. We simply must seize this opportunity and continue to make our residency programs exemplary and osteopathically distinct. The AOAO will continue to support and assist our residency training programs in every possible way. During the next few years as we transition to the new system we will need our program directors, trainers, residents, evaluating committee and senior leaders to step up and perform at extremely high levels. I am confident we will succeed and flourish.
Osteopathic Continuous Certification is an evolving process. Requirements are due this year so please register, learn the process and start learning modules. I encourage everyone to learn more about the process by visiting the AOBOS website at www.AOBOS.org or at the AOA at www.osteopathic.org. Also, please take advantage of visiting their booth at our meetings and if necessary call the AOBOS for more information.
Under the dogged determination of past president Gary Ulrich, D.O., the newly formed AOAO Foundation is not only up and running, but has achieved 501c3 (tax exempt) status from the IRS. The Foundation is off to a great start. There are plans under way to continue to grow and fund this important organization. The AOAO has committed to an annual charity golf event during one of our meetings with all proceeds going to the AOAO Foundation. The next AOAO charity golf tournament will be held at our 55th Postgraduate Seminar in April 2015 in Amelia Island, Florida. Please join us for a great day of golf and fellowship.
As we move forward this year I want to encourage all our members to find an area of involvement in which they can make a contribution. Efforts are needed in many areas and advocacy, education, outreach and professional development are just a few. It is always important for AOAO members to be involved in areas for which they feel a real passion. Whether it is on the local, state or national level, please get involved.