executive director's message

GME is the most discussed topic among medical policy makers

Dr. Vander LugtBy Lee Vander Lugt, DO, FAOAO

It would be an understatement to say that Graduate Medical Education (GME) is the most discussed topic among medical policy makers in the United States.  Documents such as the Council on Graduate Medical Education Twenty-First Report “Improving Value in Graduate Medical Education” (August 2013) and the Blue Ribbon Commission for Advancement of Osteopathic Medical Education “Building the Future:  Educating the 21st Century Physician” (November 2013) have fostered much discussion and significant concern.  In addition, the announcement on February 26, 2014 that the “Allopathic and Osteopathic Communities commit to a single Graduate Medical Education Accreditation System” has been met with cheers and concerns by both parties.  Please refer to the AOA website for the current, up to date information on this transition.

As far as the American Osteopathic Academy of Orthopedics (AOAO) is concerned, we are aware that the changes will be taking place in our training programs.  Full implementation will take six years to accomplish (June 30, 2020).  At the time of this writing, the Memorandum of Understanding (MOA) remains confidential so many of the details have not been made available to the public.  The Board of Directors and the Evaluating Committee of the AOAO has many concerns regarding the structure and make up of our current programs under the new system.  We will work with the Orthopedic Residency Review Committee (RRC) of the ACGME to advocate for our DO program directors.  We will also be working in concert with the newly formed Neuromusculoskeletal Review Committee and the Osteopathic Principles Review Committee to evaluate and recommend standards for the osteopathic principles dimension of our residency training programs.  The leadership of the AOAO has begun face to face meetings with the Orthopedic RRC to discuss our concerns as voiced by our program directors.  So far the discussions have been amicable and we anticipate this environment to continue.

On the national legislative front, legislation has been introduced to permanently repeal and replace the flawed sustainable growth rate (SGR).  The AOAO has endorsed multiple letters supporting these efforts.  Please contact your congressional representatives to ask them to support H.R. 4015/S. 2000.

Thanks to the strong, capable leadership of our Continuing Medical Education (CME) chairman, Steve Morton, DO, the AOAO continues to provide informative and relevant CME offerings at our Postgraduate Seminars and our Annual Meetings, in additions the exploring options for online CME for our members.  The American Osteopathic Association (AOA) has really tightened up the requirements for Category 1-A credit, but the AOAO looks forward to abiding by these standards so our offerings meet the requirements.  The AOAO office continues to field questions regarding Osteopathic Continuous Certification (OCC).  Please be advised that all questions and concerns need to be directed to the American Osteopathic Board of Orthopedic Surgery (AOBOS) at www.aobos.org or the AOA at www.osteopathic.org.

I hope that all of you have had a chance to navigate the new AOAO website. We hope the site will serve the needs of the AOAO for the foreseeable future.  We continue to explore options for secure social online communities so our members can share case studies and other confidential information in a protected manner.
Our current Strategic Plan is now three years old and the Board of Directors will have a “retreat” with a facilitator during our May Board meeting to update and reassess the current plan.  Your survey responses will assist the Board with constructing an updated document, enabling the AOAO to be a relevant organization for our members.

I look forward to seeing many of you at the Postgraduate Seminar in Dallas.

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