residents and students
By Kevin Blume
Des Moines University OMS III
I want to first thank the members of SAOAO for choosing me to lead the organization for the 2014-15 year. The newly elected executive board and myself are extremely eager to expand and enhance this rapidly growing organization. In this report I will touch topics that pertain to SAOAO’s growth, goals, conferences, and our vision for the future.
Fortunately, the SAOAO continues to see the tremendous growth that it experienced last year. I served as the Recruitment Chair for the previous year and we created five new chapters across the country. In addition to this, we have three new schools in the process of becoming established just over the course of the summer. Osteopathic students across the nation are realizing all that we offer and how we differ from a general surgery organization. One of our goals this year is to continue to increase our member base and make it sustainable for the future.
In order to realize this goal, SAOAO must remain innovative and continue to be a valuable resource for those of us interested in orthopedics. New this year, SAOAO is partnering with Firecracker Step 1 board prep. Firecracker is a study aid that has gained popularity in the past few years, and it has proven it can yield some great results for highly motivated students. It is based on spaced-repetition recall to drive home facts and concepts until the user has them down completely. SAOAO has negotiated a deal that offers this service for half the price that it originally costs. By offering this service, we hope to increase our member base and also improve our member’s board scores so that they may be even more knowledgeable and competitive.
Another goal of SAOAO this year is to improve the collaboration among local chapters. The executive board started this initiative last year and we had great results. Surveys were sent out to all the local chapters to discover what makes them unique; whether it be speakers, clinics, social events. We gathered many responses and then compiled the unique responses into a document that was sent to all the local chapters. For example, UNECOM offers a $500 scholarship to a high school athlete who will pursue a career in medicine. Also, TCOM offers its members the opportunity to get hands on experience with total hip and total knee replacements. With this massive collaboration, I believe that we can use this avenue to further improve ourselves, and thus improve our organization.
SAOAO’s centerpiece is the conference where the students truly get to collaborate and at the same time learn from the residents and attending physicians. This past spring conference in Dallas was a great success. We heard advice from some great residents in the trenches now, as well as several residency directors. We all greatly appreciated the time they took to sit with us and answer all of our questions. These panels are truly an invaluable resource that makes the conferences a unique experience and asset on the way to an orthopedic residency. Also, SAOAO put on a suturing clinic with several of the residents teaching and assisting. It was a great event because it allowed 3rd year students experience to teach, as well as residents give some real life experience of what to expect in the OR. The next conference takes place during October in Ranchos Palos Verdes, California and we have some great events planned for our members.
There is so much more that I would like to discuss and in more detail about all that SAOAO is accomplishing, but I wish to keep this as a brief SAOAO update. We will have more details in the upcoming SAOAO newsletter that will be issued at the beginning of October. I want to thank the AOAO and RAOAO for all the time, effort, and support that they give to make sure we have all the tools necessary to achieve our goals.