Stephen C. Shannon, DO, MPH

AACOM Annual Conference: “Keys to Success”

As we move into 2014 and try to get accustomed to writing that new date, I realize that our 2014 Annual Conference is only ten weeks away. For me, the time leading up to the conference is filled with great anticipation. It’s a chance to connect with colleagues and friends, both old and new; to deepen relationships, expand boundaries, and enrich dialogue; and to work together to meet the many challenges and opportunities we face during this exciting time of growth and change in our profession. Much of the future of osteopathic medical education rests on decisions we will make together in the weeks and months ahead.  So it’s exciting for me to see this year’s annual conference program taking shape, the topics coming to life, and the engagement of AACOM staff as they seek out dynamic speakers, use collaborative technology tools, and work closely with member schools to assemble an agenda that will truly provide something for everyone. If you haven’t already marked April 2-5 on your calendar and registered online, make the time to do it soon.

This year’s theme, “Osteopathic Medical Education: Keys to Success,” allows room for a rich diversity of subjects, constructive dialogue, productive networking, and the exploration of meaningful industry alliances and partnerships. The program will consist of sessions designed to address contemporary issues and concepts seen throughout the medical education continuum, from matriculation through practice readiness. Overarching topics include but are not limited to curricular development and innovative curricular models; faculty development; health and wellness; best practices and assessment of milestones; and leveraging technology in teaching and learning. Three confirmed keynote speakers, along with an array of thought-provoking breakout sessions, will highlight both national and international trends in medical education, and will provide attendees with opportunities for engagement with highlighted speakers as well as professional colleagues. Of particular note is a session on “Osteopathic Medical Education and the Matches: Outcomes and Trends of Osteopathic Medical Students in the NRMP and NMS Matches,” which will feature speakers from both National Resident Matching Program (NRMP) and National Matching Service (NMS).

Speaking of keynotes, I think our keynote speakers this year merit special mention:

Paul Grundy, MD, MPH, will keynote the opening session of our conference at 4:30 pm on Wednesday, April 2. Dr. Grundy is one of only 38 IBM executives, and the only physician, selected into IBM’s senior industry leadership forum known as the IBM Industry Academy. Dr. Grundy’s advocacy on behalf of the medical home concept—including his leadership as president of the Patient-Centered Primary Care Collaborative—has helped medical homes spread and improve quality nationwide. He is a member of the Institute of Medicine, as well as the recipient of the 2012 National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA) Quality Award. Dr. Grundy is currently IBM's Global Director of Healthcare Transformation. An active social entrepreneur and speaker on global healthcare transformation, Dr. Grundy is driving comprehensive, linked, and integrated healthcare as well as the concept of the Patient Centered Medical Home. His keynote address is sure to be a highlight and a great kick-off to our gathering.

Our second keynote speaker is Gail R. Wilensky, PhD, Economist and Senior Fellow, Project Hope.  As a Senior Fellow at Project HOPE, Dr. Wilensky analyzes and develops policies relating to health reform and to ongoing changes in the medical marketplace. She is also an elected member of the Institute of Medicine and serves as co-chair to its Committee on Governance and Financing of Graduate Medical Education. This Committee is due to publish its latest report in March, and our meeting will be positioned to highlight the results of that report. It is clear from Dr. Wilensky’s impressive resume that her breadth and depth of experience will bring a multi-disciplinary approach to her work. She is an engaging thought leader and I very much look forward to hearing her speak.

We are fortunate to also be featuring our third keynote speaker, Erica Frank, MD, MPH, an educational innovator, physician, medical researcher, and public health and climate change advocate. Since 2006, she has been a Professor and the Canada Research Chair in the School of Population and Public Health, and the Department of Family Practice at the University of British Columbia (UBC). Most recently, she has become known as the founder and President of, the world's first portal to free, accredited, higher education, including university- and graduate-level courses. Dr. Frank will speak to us on recent innovations in education delivery and their impact on graduate medical education, so we will no doubt hear some new and exciting things from her.

Finally, our pre-conference workshops, which include a Training Osteopathic Primary Care Educators (TOPCE)session and a session on “New Teaching and Learning Paradigms,” as well as our lobbying day on Capitol Hill,“2014 COM Day on Capitol Hill,” will provide additional opportunities to leverage the trip to Washington into important learning and advocacy activities. The 2014 COM Day on Capitol Hill will consist of Teams meeting with Members of Congress and their staffs to discuss a variety of policy priorities impacting the COMs. It’s our chance as a profession to speak with one voice and of one accord to effectively influence the direction of several important legislative initiatives that affect us all. 

So there you have it—the AACOM 2014 Annual Conference is upon us, and I hope you will join us there.  We are developing the roadmap for osteopathic medical education in the future, and we want your input.

Inside OME Header
Dec 2013 / Jan 2014
Vol. 8, No. 1