RAOAO Update

As the end of February approached, I expected to open this piece with an update from the AOAO Fellowship Training Task Force regarding our efforts to develop and maintain access to postgraduate subspecialty training.  However, the AOA, AACOM, and ACGME announced their agreement upon a single accreditation system on February 26, 2014.  The Task Force will meet at the upcoming Postgraduate Seminar, and we will continue to work toward advancing and securing the education of osteopathic orthopedic surgeons.

The unified system will allow the transition of AOA training programs to ACGME accreditation by July of the year 2020.  Allopathic and osteopathic medical school graduates will have access to all residency training programs, hence eliminating the existence of dual-accredited programs.  In the same light, osteopathic graduates will not be barred from ACGME-accredited fellowships as proposed by yet-to-be-enacted ACGME requirements.  More details can be found here: http://www.osteopathic.org/inside-aoa/Pages/ACGME-single-accreditation-system.aspx.

To issue a statement like “this is a good change” is an oversimplification of the issue, but I do think that unified accreditation will be beneficial to patients and physicians alike.  The five-year transition, starting in 2015, will likely have some hurdles and regulatory obstacles to overcome.  A common set of requirements will place all training programs on a level playing field and assure that all physicians nationwide adhere to the same standard.  It will be interesting to see the changes that take place as allopathic and osteopathic training programs integrate.  Only time will reveal the end result.

We sent out a survey to residents in November of 2013 to help guide the Fellowship Training Task Force.  Some of the responses we received were:

  • 31.7% were either accepted to or applying for fellowship in 2014-2015

  • 84.8% successfully matched

    • Adult reconstruction was most popular at 28.3%, followed by:

      • Sports medicine (20.8%)

      • Spine (17%)

      • Shoulder & Elbow (11.3%)

      • Hand (7.6%)

      • Trauma (5.7%)

      • Foot & Ankle (3.8%)

      • Tumor (3.8%)

      • Pediatrics (1.9%)

    • 50.9% of accepted / applied programs were ACGME accredited

  • 85.8% of respondents either are in the application process or plan to apply for fellowship after 2014

    • Sports (27.3%), Adult reconstruction (18.2%), and trauma (18.2%) were the most preferred subspecialties

From May 2-4, the 54th Annual Postgraduate Seminar will take place at the Omni in Dallas, Texas.  The RAOAO board will meet during the weekend, and all residents are welcome to join us.  As usual, there will be a comprehensive agenda of general and subspecialty topics presented.  A charity golf tournament will take place Friday, May 2 at the TPC Four Seasons Las Colinas, with proceeds going to the AOAO Foundation.  Further, there will be a hand and upper extremity workshop Saturday evening with Jorge L. Orbay, MD, A.K. Lee, MD, Marc Trzeciak, DO, FAOAO, and Mark Khorsandi, DO.  This event includes a Texas barbecue dinner and costs only $75 for residents.

The SAOAO will also hold their meeting during the weekend, and they request resident participation during their conference.  This is a great opportunity to add to your curriculum vitae.  Previous resident lectures have covered surgical approaches, techniques, imaging, advice for rotations, and tips for the application process.  There may also be opportunities to assist in casting and suture labs. For further information, please contact Max Lingamfelter Max.Lingamfelter@gmail.com or Ryan Joseph Ryan.Joseph@live.unthsc.edu .

This organization functions to serve your needs, so please share your thoughts and ideas at raoao@aoao.org.

With the new president taking over in June, I just wanted to say it has been a pleasure serving as president of the RAOAO.  I thank all involved for their input, assistance, and efforts that continue to improve our profession. 

I look forward to seeing you all this May in Dallas.

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