executive director's message

Updates on Osteopathic Residency Training

Dr. Vander LugtBy Lee Vander Lugt, DO, FAOAO

It is indeed an honor to serve as the Executive Director of the American Osteopathic Academy of Orthopedics (AOAO)!  Working with your Board of Directors and the administrative team at Ruggles makes my job enjoyable.

As you make preparations for your CME this year, please include the 24th Annual Osteopathic Orthopedic Educators Course, April 7, 2016 in Phoenix, being held a day prior to the Postgraduate Seminar.  Your attendance will be especially beneficial if you are involved in any fashion in the training of osteopathic orthopedic residents.  This is a time of great excitement for our programs, while at the same time generating many questions and concerns.  The course will feature three ACGME representatives as presenters and will address multiple topics of concern as we move toward the Single Accreditation System (SAS).  I hope to see many of you at this conference.

The influence of the AOAO in training future orthopedic surgeons continues to grow.  In the recent American Osteopathic Association match, 118 OGME-1R positions were filled in orthopedic surgery, with another five or six candidates scrambling to fill a few vacant spots.  Our growth has been dramatic and over the next few years we will continue to grow as our newly approved programs accept more trainees until all of their approved positions are filled.

As of this writing, 15 of our 44 approved programs are in the pre-accreditation process.  Some of the 44 programs have opted to affiliate with an existing ACGME program and a few have elected not to continue. The bulk of our programs will be entering pre-accreditation in the next several months.  We continue to encourage all of our programs to seek Osteopathic Recognition in the SAS.

I recently met with a leadership team from the American Orthopaedic Association.  The majority of our time was spent discussing the role that the Council of Orthopaedic Residency Directors (CORD) can play in assisting our residency programs during this time of transition.  Their leadership very much wants to help all of our programs succeed and thrive in the SAS.  Their programs in the next few years will incorporate topics of interest to “new” program directors and faculty.  This group has been very helpful in facilitating the education of our program directors and faculty.  As a show of their commitment, CORD has incorporated two of our program directors in their program planning committee.

The AOAO and the American College of Osteopathic Surgeons (ACOS) continue to have a joint Government Affairs Committee with members from each organization.  Recently the ACOS has hired a full time Manager of Health Policy.  He will be keeping the committee as well as the organizations abreast of health policy and regulatory issues.  This information will be disseminated to you through our online Legislative Updates at http://www.aoao.org/news/legislative-updates/. Please avail yourself of this important and timely information.

I look forward to seeing many of you in Phoenix for the 56th Post Graduate Seminar.

Safe travels to the meeting.

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