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Dr. Thomas Mohr Delivers the 2021 AOGME Chair's Report

Dr. Thomas Mohr -100px

May 28, 2021

Thank you to all who attended our membership business meeting this month and who joined us in congratulating newly elected board members, recognizing our leadership awardees and newest Collegium of Fellows inductee. The 2020-2021 membership year was exceptional, both because of the challenges of an environment transformed by COVID-19 and the way our members rallied around one another and leveraged this community to get through some of the trying times.

Education and Outreach
At this month’s membership meeting, I recapped the activities we have engaged in over the past year. AOGME responded quickly to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on graduate medical education (GME) programs, particularly in the recruitment, interviewing and selection process. We held 20 educational webinars, more webinars than in previous years, that garnered over 3,000 registrants.  AOGME addressed topics such as virtual interviewing, holistic selection of applicants, using Osteopathic Manipulative Medicine (OMM) to treat symptoms related to COVID-19, advising for students transitioning to GME and more. For the first time, we held virtual residency fairs. One held in August 2020, the second one in October 2020. We were able to offer these for free to AOGME members or at a discounted rate. These fairs generated interested in over 100 programs and 5,000 medical students. We also partnered with osteopathic specialty colleges who provided guidance to students on various specialties and shared information on board certification.

We published guidance on the 2020-2021 residency application and selection process, and garnered support from osteopathic specialty colleges on this guidance. We participated in the development of a Transition to Residency Resources Toolkit, published in March 2021, an effort by AACOM, AAMC, ECFMG and ACGME. The toolkit was developed to support students transitioning to residency during COVID-19. Shawn Hamm, DO, a member of our Residents and Fellows Council (RFC) also participated to bring the resident physician voice to the group.

We held regular membership discussions opportunities, providing members a space to bring up issues and get the latest information on COVID-19 and GME-related topics. These were held bi-weekly at the beginning of the pandemic and are now held monthly. The meetings are robust and useful discussions, and we thank all the participants and encourage all members to participate when possible.

Partnerships and Influence

We participated in the Coalition for Physician Accountability work groups and committees that sought to respond to the pandemic and its impact on rotations, interviewing and on the transition in general.  I have participated, on behalf of AACOM, on the CPA’s UME-GME Review Committee that seeks to address issues in the transition to UME to GME, recommendations from this group were recently published for a public comment period which concluded this month.

We also participated in the NBOME’s Special Commission on COMLEX-Level 2 PE, represented in the group by Dr. Joanne Kaiser-Smith, and provided comments on their efforts.

This year, we were asked to provide feedback to the ACGME in its review of dedicated time for administrative responsibilities for program staff. We submitted a position statement after soliciting feedback from all of you and were then asked to present at the ACGME’s congress in the fall. We also provided comments to the proposed revisions to the common program requirements. 

For the fourth year, we were pleased to partner with the ACGME on the Joint ACGME/AOGME Osteopathic Recognition Pre-Conference Workshop which included robust content showcasing programs that had Osteopathic Recognition and sharing best practices.

We continue to strengthen our partnerships with external organizations such as the Alliance of Independent Academic Medical Centers (AIAMC), American College of Osteopathic Family Physicians (ACOFP), National Collaborative for Improving the Clinical Learning Environment (NCICLE). We hold regular conversations with many of these groups and have organized joint webinars over the past year.   

We are pleased to work with the ACOFP on supporting programs with Osteopathic Recognition. Recently, ACOFP and AOGME published an Osteopathic Recognition toolkit that will continue to be enhanced and refined. 

We continue our efforts to support Osteopathic Recognition through these partnerships and maintaining our existing work such as the awareness campaign Osteopathic Recognition Matters, the digital resource library that house resources on osteopathic training, the advance OGME listserv which includes several DOEs and others interested in osteopathic GME, and in our webinar series.

Councils & Groups
We are proud of our Residents and Fellows Council that has worked tirelessly over the past year to engage members, holding monthly membership meetings, and meeting regularly as a leadership team. They have contributed to numerous webinars to support students and residents and contributed to sessions at the annual conference. They have also provided invaluable feedback on several external initiatives such as the Coalition for Physician Accountability’s recommendations on student movement across institutions. The Council recently elected its 2021-2022 Executive Board and revised their strategic plan, priming them for another impactful year ahead.

Several other committees and groups within AOGME continue to dedicate time and effort, these include:

  • The GME-CME Osteopathic Learning Community, who meet regularly and create a platform for CME professionals and others hosting education events related to osteopathic medical education, and Osteopathic Recognition.
  • The digital resource library editorial board meets regularly to review submissions to the library and suggest improvements.
  • The education committee also meets quarterly, and members contribute to the webinar series and other educational activities, along with the AACOM annual conference.

Thank you to all leaders and members of these groups and committees for your continued engagement and dedication! 

It is an honor to serve this membership for another year, I look forward to the continued comradery and partnership as we work together to address the various issues impacting GME and the UME-GME continuum.

We would love to hear from you, please feel free to reach out to us at any time with feedback or direct inquires by emailing aogme@aacom.org  or calling us at 301-657-7881.

Thank you,

Thomas Mohr, MS, DO, FACOI, FAOGME