2017 Annual Conference Highlights

Joint AACOM & AODME 2017 Annual Conference, April 26-29, Baltimore, MD

Stephen C. Shannon,DO, MPHBy Stephen C. Shannon, DO, MPH
AACOM President and CEO


he Joint AACOM and AODME 2017 Annual Conference was held April 26-29 in Baltimore, MD. This year’s event drew just over 900 attendees to the Baltimore Marriott Waterfront Hotel to experience a program carefully crafted by the conference planning committee under the leadership of conference co-chairs Isaac J. Kirstein, DO, Dean of the Ohio University Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine (OU-HCOM), and Lisa R. Nash, DO, MS-HPEd, Associate Dean of DME at the University of North Texas Health Science Center at Fort Worth/Texas College of Osteopathic Medicine (UNTHSC/TCOM).

The theme for this year’s event was “Educating Leaders for Integrated Health Systems,” and the programming focused on all the various interweaving elements that make up the osteopathic medical education (OME) landscape, including the single graduate medical education (GME) accreditation system, interprofessionalism, entrustable professional activities, advocacy, medical education best practices, and so much more.

Opening Plenary session
John B. Bulger, DO, MBA, Chief Medical Officer, Geisinger Health Plan, speaks as part of the opening Plenary Session entitled "The Path to Value: Care Systems and Medical Education."

As I think back on all the high-caliber programming we were able to offer (thanks to quality abstracts submitted from across our community and beyond), one thing that really stood out was the overarching theme of educating leaders—both students and faculty. We as osteopathic medical education professionals are always working to advance osteopathic medicine and medical education, and shape the educators and future doctors that will carry the torch for us down the road. In fact, this year’s conference housed the foundational AACOM Senior Leadership Development Program (SLDP) meeting, a program that assists new or experienced deans and others identified by their schools as potential future deans to develop and enhance critical leadership and management competencies.

It is because of the importance and ubiquity of the topic of educating leaders in our programming that AACOM and AODME have decided to continue with this overarching concept, making 2017 our inaugural year of what we are now calling the “Educating Leaders Conference.” Each successive year from now on will have a different sub theme based on a current topic of import, but will continue to be guided by the mission of exploring how members of our community are working to educate leaders in OME.

Plenary session
Speaker Benjamin R. Kinnear, MD, at Thursday's Plenary session, "From Bedside to

Milestones:Successes and Stumbles While Building an Assessment System."

Below are events and happenings from the conference that I felt were important to highlight because of their significance to our membership and to OME as a whole. I invite you to take some time to read through them to get a feel for what our Annual Conference is all about, and what makes it the premier event for osteopathic medical educators.

Conference Highlights from AACOM Departments

Government Relations

During April's Joint AACOM & AODME 2017 Annual Conference, AACOM’s Office of Government Relations (GR) hosted several events showcasing its work over the last year. Senior Vice President of GR Pamela Murphy, MSW, provided legislative updates to conference attendees on health care issues such as Affordable Care Act repeal and replace efforts and the Teaching Health Center Graduate Medical Education (THCGME) Program. Eugene Robinson (Pulitzer prize-winning columnist, The Washington Post and political analyst, MSNBC) gave a keynote address on the state of American health care in the current political climate. Additionally, panelists discussed advocacy and how they became engaged in speaking out on medical education debt issues during the ED to MED Town Hall

Advocacy Town Hall Meeting
Pamela Murphy, MSW, moderates the ED to MED Town Hall.

GR celebrated numerous milestones at the conference this year. The ED to MED campaign reached its one-year anniversary. The announcement of a new national partnership around ED to MED campaign principles amplifies a strong collective graduate student voice on the reauthorization of the Higher Education Act and beyond.  

AACOM also debuted a video in which deans, faculty members, students, and organizational leadership convey the importance of advocacy in the osteopathic medical education community. Finally, GR honored osteopathic medical student Caleb Hentges as this year’s ED to MED Outstanding Advocate of the Year. As an ED to MED Campus Ambassador, Caleb has actively sought opportunities to speak in person and on social media to advocate on behalf of his fellow osteopathic medical students.


051817_Erik-GuercioErik Guercio, MA
, AACOM’s Director of Research, (photo at right) presented on What You Can Do with the OME Data on the AACOM Website. During the presentation, attendees were shown an overview of the data AACOM collects, how to navigate the AACOM reports webpage, and ways AACOM Research is using data to tell the story of the osteopathic medical education experience. Presentation topics covered applicants’ and matriculants’ HRSA indicators, seniors’ immediate post-graduation plans, total enrollment by race/ethnicity, results from an ad-hoc survey on the appeal of an ACGME-accredited program with osteopathic recognition, and more. In addition, a live demonstration of the recently-released Applicant and Matriculants by U.S. State/Territories & COM dashboard was presented. The session closed with an overview of how AACOM’s data can be leveraged to support joint research projects and assist GME programs seeking to fulfil their scholarly activity accreditation requirement.

Single Accreditation System

This year’s conference featured a special track on a wide-range of sessions related to the single graduate medical education accreditation system. These sessions ranged from a transition update from Lorenzo Pence, DO, Senior Vice President for Osteopathic Accreditation, Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME), to sessions on incorporating osteopathic curriculum within ACGME-accredited graduate medical education programs, tips from leaders of a Teaching Health Center GME (THCGME) program on their journey from AOA to ACGME accreditation, and information on the residency match system from the AOA and NRMP. 

This year, the joint conference launched its inaugural pre-conference workshop on the  ACGME Osteopathic Recognition application process with speakers from the ACGME, the AOA’s Bureau of Osteopathic Graduate Medical Education Development (BOGMED), program directors from across the nation, a specialty college perspective from the American College of Osteopathic Internists (ACOI), and an Osteopathic Postdoctoral Training Institution (OPTI) perspective from Statewide Campus System Michigan State University College of Osteopathic Medicine (MSUCOM). These rich offerings will hopefully play an important role in the continued exchange of ideas, resources, and further education to enhance the experience of the osteopathic medical education community in the transition to the single GME accreditation system.

Poster exhibits
Poster sessions

Medical Education

AACOM’s councils were extremely engaged and hard at work with their various members to bring understanding and synergy in their efforts to support faculty, administration, and others as they combine best practices toward the education and advancement of our learners.

The steering committee and liaison group for osteopathic considerations in the entrustable professional activities (EPAs) delivered upon their call to produce resources and training materials for this assessment work currently underway or being considered at our COM programs. The steering committee chair, Pamela Basehore, EdD, Assistant Dean for Assessment at the Rowan University School of Osteopathic Medicine (RowanSOM), led visionary discussion on potential continued efforts on core competency revisions and milestones alignment, professional development, portfolios for learning, alignment of accreditation standards, and resource site development are all slated for the next year.

The Society for Osteopathic Medical Educators (SOME) and the National Academy of Osteopathic Medical Educators (NAOME) also held special meetings to deliver an education leadership workshop led by Stephen Davis, PhD, Director of Faculty Development at the Ohio University Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine (OU-HCOM), develop programming for the 2017-18 academic year, select topics/projects for future workshops, elect new leadership, and develop and refine application and mentoring processes for new fellows for the Academy.

EPA roundtable discussions
EPA Roundtable Discussions
The oral and poster presentations from membership this year were exceptionally well done, with topics ranging from UME to GME, and from assessment of learning to leadership development and current considerations regarding the ‘hidden curriculum.’ The new specialty EPA poster session and table discussion were also a very successful addition to the conference program, with more than 85 participants.

Applauding attendees at the Awards Banquet

Five preconference events/workshops (including our TOPCE, Senior Leadership Development Program, EPA Liaisons, and Osteopathic Recognition) ushered in this year’s full conference program. The Request for Abstracts solicited over 180 submissions that were peer-reviewed by our NAOME/SOME Leadership groups—the largest response to date.

On April 26, in conjunction with the conference, AACOM held its first-ever FutureDOdoctor Recruitment Event. Geared toward aspiring physicians interested in learning more about the osteopathic medical profession and strengthening their medical school application, the event drew 196 prospective students from 17 states. Read more about the FutureDOdoctor event.

Each year, AACOM hosts its Annual Awards Banquet to recognize the exceptional accomplishments of individuals within the osteopathic medical community. To close the conference, AACOM honored recipients of our 2017 national awards during this year's ceremony.

Coming Soon…

Annual Conference logoAACOM is always working to ensure that the programming and fellowship offered by the Annual Conference encourages members of the osteopathic community to collaborate on critical issues and topics in OME. If you were able to join us this year, or are planning to attend in 2018, visit the Annual Conference web page to view session and poster materials, photos, and other 2017 resources, and to get the latest updates on preparations for 2018.

I am excited to see what the future holds for our profession during this time of great change and evolution in our country, and I cannot wait to meet next year in Washington, DC to explore the many opportunities and innovations that lay ahead.


Vol. 1, No. 8
May 18, 2017