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News & Press: General Announcement

OPSO Endorses GME Resolution, Outlines Concerns

Friday, May 16, 2014   (0 Comments)
Posted by: David Walls
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On May 9th, OPSO sent a letter to Norman Vinn, DO, president of the American Osteopathic Association, endorsing the AOA Resolution in support of the continued negotiations toward a unified GME Accreditation System. In the letter, OPSO noted outstanding concerns for a new system, but submitted a vote of confidence in AOA leaders to not only safeguard, but expand the unique perspective of the osteopathic profession in this new system. OPSO will continue to provide input to key leaders in this effort. If you have not yet voiced your opinion on this issue, please visit the Unified GME Webpage for more information and to submit your comments.

Norman Vinn, DO
President, American Osteopathic Association

142 E. Ontario St.

Chicago, IL 60611-2864

Osteopathic Physicians and Surgeons of Oregon
4380 SW Macadam Avenue Suite 125
Portland, OR 97239

May 9, 2014

Dear Dr. Vinn,

First, I would like to thank you for the numerous opportunities the AOA has provided to discuss and understand the proposed unified graduate medical education accreditation system. After attending the May 4 meeting which allowed me to view the entire MOU and letter of clarification, it is clear that the AOA has been open and transparent regarding the details of this agreement.

After much consideration, the OPSO Board of Directors has voted to support the AOA Resolution calling for the thorough monitoring and continued development leading to a unified GME accreditation system.

Support of this resolution certainly does not mean that OPSO does not have serious concerns about unified GME accreditation. Among our considerations, we must ensure that osteopathic board certification is the certifying body of choice of DO graduates and provide a reasonable credentialing pathway for osteopathic board certified physicians to serve as program directors. Perhaps most importantly, we must safeguard and expand the highest quality osteopathic-focused residency programs in this new system.


While we have these concerns, we are placing our vote of confidence in the AOA and AACOM to work through the many issues before the new system becomes a reality. We know that the AOA and AACOM entered into this agreement with the intent to not just protect, but expand training opportunities for osteopathic medical students that preserve and perpetuate osteopathic principles and practice; however, the ultimate result of this new system will not be known for many years to come.

Thinking osteopathically, the impact of this new system is not going to be decided by the singular decision to create a unified GME accreditation system. One must look comprehensively to factors impacting the profession. Osteopathic principles must be fostered throughout the continuum of education including:

·         Early education – Increasing the public awareness of osteopathic medicine in order to instill interest in the profession to future physicians at an early age.

·         Premedical education – Allowing undergraduate students to develop an understanding of the osteopathic profession and the distinct osteopathic advantage in comprehensive patient-centered care so those considering a career in medicine can actively choose their desired focus.

·         Osteopathic medical education – Training in osteopathic principles throughout the entire medical school training curriculum, including clinical clerkships with osteopathic physicians and those that maintain a truly osteopathic practice. With more students actively choosing osteopathic medicine, rather than just wanting to become “a doctor”, it is more critical than ever that we provide the distinct osteopathic training model that students desire.

·         Residency training – Ensuring that there are high quality osteopathic-focused residency opportunities for all osteopathic medical school graduates.

·         Continuing medical education – Supporting continuing medical education programs with the distinct osteopathic focus and fostering continued development of the osteopathic skills of practicing physicians.

·         Osteopathic manipulative treatment – Maintaining OMT as a critical area of focus in osteopathic training programs and substantially expanding research in OMT.

While supporting the AOA Resolution, OPSO asks that the AOA maintain a comprehensive approach in perpetuating the osteopathic profession and OPSO is proud to work closely with you in this endeavor.


David Walls
Executive Director
Osteopathic Physicians and Surgeons of Oregon

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