Enough is Enough: AOA and IOM vs. Osteopathic Education

AOA quote:

The A​merican Osteopathic Association (AOA), the national professional membership organization for the nation’s more than 104,000 osteopathic physicians (DOs) and osteopathic medical students, applauds members of the Institute of Medicine’s Committee on the Governance and Financing of Graduate Medical Education (GME) for their work on the comprehensive report, Graduate Medical Education That Meets The Nation’s Health Needs. Specific acknowledgment goes out to Barbara Ross-Lee, DO, Vice President for Health Science and Medical Affairs, New York Institute of Technology, for representing the osteopathic medical profession.

Let me get this straight, the woman (Barbara Ross-Lee, DO) that single handedly took apart three osteopathic institutions and removed nearly all of the Osteopathic components of education that made them osteopathic at all including the faculty and the curriculum is being applauded for her leadership and representation of the Osteopathic community at the IOM? Regardless of the accolades, laurels and academic achievement she may have achieved, she does not represent me or Osteopathy in any way that has real meaning.

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Paging Congress: Don’t Cut GME Funding

Guest post from Jason Fodeman, MD

This summer new doctors will start their residency training in a host of hospitals across Arizona and across this great nation. These new doctors are entering medicine at a time when uncertainty about the future of medical practice is at an all-time high. Much of this is a result of the Affordable Care Act, yet other uncertainties remain; including ambiguities about the future of the very funding that supports residency training.

As Congress looks to curtail out of control government spending and rising deficits, one expenditure that has repeatedly drawn interest is funding for Graduate Medical Education (GME). The Super Committee, the Simpson-Bowles Commission, and the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission have all paid particular attention to this funding that supports the mandated training doctors must complete at regular intervals in the years after graduation from medical school.  While budgets must be tightened, cuts to GME would endanger patients.

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AOA Dog and Pony Show in Chicago on May 4, 2014

Courtesy Bob Maurer, D.O. 

Approximate Total Cost for Participants: Around $ 80,000-100,000 for airfare.

Additional Costs:   Overnight hotel rooms, hall rental, staff, lunch, handouts, etc, etc.

It probably could have been done on Webinar for around one hundred dollars.

From AOA:  On Behalf of Adrienne White-Faines, MPA, AOA    Executive Director/Chief Executive Officer

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Letter to AOA on ACGME merger: Problem & new solution

Dear AOA Pres. Dr. Vinn, et al.

This letter is in regard to, “Single accreditation for MDs and DOs by 2020,” in family practice news this month. We have been told by former AOA President Dr Ray Stowers that in recent years Osteopathic schools proliferated too quickly and created the need for more residencies than AOA could supply and government could fund. We were then told last year that the only solution would be to combine our Osteopathic GME with allopathic MD ACGME. In the article Dr. Vinn states, “… But Osteopathic training programs will still retain their unique focus.” He goes on to say, “this is an opportunity to both reinforce and proliferate or principles.” The question I raise is how is it possible to train, reinforce our principal teachings, philosophy and skills while not experiencing the potential disaster of the California experience of 1960?

As a product of, and believer in Osteopathic principles, schools, internships, residency training, postgraduate fellowships and CME, I believe our programs offer unique and distinct advantages over the other possibilities that exist. This unique Osteopathic approach to training, education and practice must be maintained for the betterment of human health. Under the plan to merge osteopathic graduate medical education with ACGME we would be absorbed, overrun and thereby changed to accommodate only the allopathic practice model.

Osteopathic graduate medical education has always strived for independence and excellence. This merger of programs would be a catastrophic mistake in the history of osteopathic medicine. Our DO distinctiveness would disappear from the practice of medicine of the merger goes to completion. The logical sequellae of the merger would be the loss of Osteopathic Medical philosophy in practice, as well as, all of our DO program directors will lose their jobs by the merger completion date of 2020.

I offer the DOs COMITT alternate plan to save Osteopathic training programs: The first step would be control of and smart steady growth of osteopathic schools, not uncontrolled proliferation. Osteopathic training programs produce diverse physicians with a large number of primary care specialty physicians including family medicine, pediatrics, gynecology, etc. The second step is the AOA to bring the data of our current primary care programs’ output to the government authorities and Congress that authorizes money for training programs. If we can mount a organized and cogent movement to convince the Congress and government leaders to champion the cause of primary care specialty training, they will support it for the good of the country’s health and their own political goals. Please consider this approach previous to your acceptance of the ACGME merger program which would destroy our osteopathic integrity.

http://www.familypracticenews.com/single-view/single-accreditation-for-mds-and-dos-by-2020/882f1fd642fed66cceba959c2629d65a.html

Best wishes for good health,
Craig M. Wax, DO
Family physician, Editorial Board of Medical Economics
Host of Your Health Matters
Rowan Radio 89.7 WGLS FM
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