A Message from Stephen C. Shannon, DO, MPH, President, American Association of Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine
Welcome to the AACOM website, designed to provide visitors with a wealth of information about osteopathic medical education, osteopathic medicine, and the many programs and services AACOM provides in its role as the convenor of the nation’s osteopathic medical education community.
The last 20 years have seen tremendous growth in osteopathic medical education. During these years, nearly half of the nation’s current 29 colleges of osteopathic medicine (COMs) opened their doors to students, four of the colleges established branch campuses, and several established additional teaching sites to serve students in diverse geographic areas. Today, the COMs educate more than 20,500 students; more than 20 percent of the nation’s medical students are studying at an osteopathic medical school.
But what is it about colleges of osteopathic medicine and the physicians we graduate that uniquely positions the profession to address some of the tremendous health care challenges confronting our nation? The underlying tenets of osteopathic medicine—that a patient-centered approach to health care is key to treatment effectiveness, that the body has a natural ability to heal itself, and that structure influences function and therefore the health of the musculoskeletal system is inherently linked to the health of the whole person—all will allow osteopathic medicine to help the nation meet the needs of its ever-changing society.
AACOM, working in cooperation with its member colleges, other health care associations, and the nation’s osteopathic physicians, will continue to promote growth and quality in the field, with a constant eye toward finding new ways to improve the health of the American public.
I hope you will take time to review AACOM’s Strategic Plan 2008-2013, which lays out a five-year roadmap for the association’s work on behalf of the nation’s colleges of osteopathic medicine. As we develop initiatives, programs, and services that reflect our strategic priorities, I also hope you will provide us with your feedback.
On behalf of the nation’s colleges of osteopathic medicine and the entire AACOM staff, I thank you for your interest in osteopathic medical education.