2017 AOA House of Delegates Session
By James R. Ingram, DO, FAOAO
Lee Vander Lugt and I were present for the AOA House of Delegates meeting in Chicago, Illinois on July 21-23, 2017. The Opening Ceremony included a presentation of Colors, accompanied by the Emerald Guard of the Chicago Police Department - complete with bagpipes and drums. After the opening, a quorum was established with 81% of the 472 certified delegates in attendance.
When the crowd settled, a forum was held focusing on the Single Accreditation System, led by Karen Nichols, DO, Boyd Buser, DO, and Thomas Nasca, MD. They shared with the delegates that 56% of AOA programs are in ACGME initial accreditation or pre-accreditation.
The main goal of this Single Accreditation System is to provide a more consistent method of evaluation of graduate medical education, allow osteopathic students more residency training positions, create the opportunity to incorporate osteopathic principles and practice into residency training (osteopathic recognition) and represent osteopathic in the governance of the ACGME. The ACGME Review Committees now accept AOA certification as an accepted criteria for the position of Program Director.
There are currently 33 osteopathic medical schools in the United States with full practice rights in Ireland, Israel, and Ghana. There have been recent requests to establish osteopathic medical schools in Argentina and India.
It was reported that the AOA represents 130,000 physicians and students; however, in 2017, only 48% of osteopathic physicians are members of the AOA. AOA membership is not keeping pace with the number of osteopathic graduating physicians.
At the House of Delegates, one resolution that could affect the AOAO was H-231 that would direct AOA to obtain ACCME accreditation, ultimately allowing affiliates to provide CME credit for allopathic surgeons who attend osteopathic educational activities. The resolution was referred to the AOA Finance Committee for expedited review for the possibility of implementation because the resolution did not fully delineate the entire cost for this proposal. We will keep you apprised of updates to this resolution.
On Saturday, July 22, we were present for the inauguration of Mark Baker, DO. He will be AOA president for the 2017-2018 term. Dr. Baker is a radiologist in Fort Worth, Texas. He shared his vision for the AOA. His punch line, “Your future is so bright, you’ll have to wear shades”. If you see members wearing sunshades, you’ll know the rationale. Read more about Dr. Baker's address HERE.
Last but not least, Dr. Vander Lugt and I met the AOA president-elect, William S. “Bill” Mayo, DO. He is a practicing opthamologist in Oxford, Mississippi. Both Dr. Baker and Dr. Mayo were exceedingly cordial and expressed interest in working closely with the AOAO in the coming years.
Personally, I found this experience to be very educational. It was extremely enlightening. Seeing how the AOA and it's members work toward a common goal. Given the opportunity, I would encourage AOAO members to become more engaged in AOA activities by visiting their website on a regular basis.