executive director's message

Updates on AOA and ACGME Issues

Dr. Vander LugtBy Lee Vander Lugt, DO, FAOAO

The Executive office of the AOA has been heavily engaged with the AOA since July when the AOA House of Delegates passed Resolution 800 “Single GME Accreditation”. As previously communicated, the AOAO was a supporter of this resolution. Since that time, the AOA has been very active in receiving nominations for the administrative infrastructure and processes for the Single GME Accreditation System. Nominees have been accepted for a Senior Vice President of the ACGME to oversee OGME.

Nominations have been solicited for ACGME Board of Directors from the AOA and AACOM (two from each). I am serving on a task force to vet potential members of the Osteopathic Principles Committee that will oversee all aspects of OGME in the new system. Since no ACGME Review Committee existed for NMM/OMM, nominations for that committee are also ongoing.

In the new system, orthopedics will have one new position on the Orthopedic Surgery RC. The AOAO Evaluating Committee has reviewed the application of those Program Directors willing to serve in this position. The AOAO Board of Directors will send the AOA two volunteers that they in turn will submit to the ACGME Board of Directors for final selection.

The AOA is hosting multiple educational programs for OPTI Directors, DME’s and Program Directors on the application process, preparation and timelines. I have been told on multiple occasions during face to face meetings with orthopedic ACGME representatives that their goal is to help all osteopathic orthopedic residencies succeed, not to close down programs or eliminate positions.

Currently, the COPT is developing draft standards for all “osteopathically distinct or focused” training programs. The AOAO Evaluating Committee is encouraging all of our programs and sponsoring academic institutions to seek this designation. The AOA will continue to work with the AOA, while offering assistance to our programs so they can flourish in the new system.

At our May Board of Directors meeting, the Board engaged in a lengthy discussion regarding our strategic plan. A large segment of our plan currently addresses OGME as it relates to basic standards and program accreditation. Over the next five years our role in GME will change. The Board will be addressing these concerns in future meetings. In the meantime, the AOAO Evaluating Committee continues its work as usual. We have seen a surge in interest in new orthopedic surgery residency development, and we continue to “pre-inspect” these programs to ensure they will offer the caliber of residencies we have come to expect.

I have been reading David & Goliath, by Malcolm Gladwell. He writes, “We spend a lot of time thinking about the ways that prestige and resources and belonging to elite institutions make us better off. We don’t spend enough time thinking about ways in which these kinds of material advantages limit our options.” Recently, I have engaged in conversation addressing these attitudes with AOA and ACGM representatives. I believe the ACGME is beginning to realize their dilemma with this new system. Please support your AOA and AOAO representatives as they advocate for consideration and acceptance of the osteopathic paradigm of GME that is already producing the type of surgeon the American public expects.

I look forward to seeing many of you at the 2014 Annual Meeting in Rancho Palos Verdes, CA in October.

Back to top