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AACOM Makes Strategic Move to Strengthen Medical Education

January 10, 2018



Paul DeMiglio 
Senior Media Specialist 

(Bethesda, MD)—The American Association of Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine (AACOM) has made the historic decision to unify osteopathic undergraduate medical education (UME) and graduate medical education (GME).

On January 1, AACOM—which previously solely represented accredited U.S. colleges of osteopathic medicine—launched the Assembly of Osteopathic Graduate Medical Educators (AOGME). AOGME is a professional membership group that encompasses the membership of the former Association of Osteopathic Directors and Medical Educators (AODME), a 501(c)(6) organization that represented leaders in osteopathic GME. By integrating AOGME within its membership base, AACOM has brought together the clinical faculty and leaders responsible for the clinical learning environment for osteopathic UME and GME, expanding its scope in the medical education community and better positioning itself to strengthen and enhance the entire continuum of osteopathic medical education.

Osteopathic medical education is a distinct form of medical education that reflects the tenets of osteopathic medicine. These tenets incorporate a strong emphasis on community-based training with a focus on preventive, patient-centered, interprofessional, and holistic care. Osteopathic UME includes four years of this medical training in both classrooms and clinical learning environments at an accredited U.S. osteopathic medical school. Osteopathic GME is residency or fellowship training beyond UME.

With the addition of AOGME, AACOM now has the platform to connect leaders of both osteopathic UME and GME, and combine efforts and resources to support the continuity of osteopathic medical education from medical school to residency, and beyond. Increasing opportunities for osteopathic physicians (DOs) to maintain distinctiveness throughout their training in order to offer an osteopathic approach to care for patients will support positive change for the U.S. health care system.

AOGME will serve as a focal point for AACOM’s engagement with the GME community. Through AOGME, AACOM will develop a unified professional home for osteopathic medical educators from across the educational continuum and provide opportunities for professional development in leadership, scholarship, research, policy, and advocacy. This effort also establishes the potential for resident and fellow membership within AACOM.

With enrollment in osteopathic medical schools on the rise, and osteopathic physicians continuing to occupy a larger share of the physician workforce, the introduction of AOGME could not have been timelier.

Stephen C. Shannon, DO, MPH, AACOM President and CEO, commented that this move is “a momentous step forward for osteopathic medical education. We are thrilled to welcome former AODME members to the AACOM family, and are eager to work with them to provide resources, advocacy, and professional development and leadership opportunities. With AOGME, AACOM is now able to support a broader community of individuals, programs, organizations, and institutions vital to the success of our profession. This, in turn, better positions the Association to achieve our mission of promoting excellence in medical education, research, and service by unlocking opportunities to explore and innovate across the continuum of osteopathic medical education."

“We couldn’t be more excited about what this move means for the full spectrum of osteopathic medical education,” said Joanne Baker, DO, Chair of AOGME. “AACOM is a great fit for our membership, with a proven track record of leadership and support for its members. I strongly believe that this integration will translate to continued growth and expanded opportunities in the osteopathic graduate medical education community.”

For more information, visit www.aacom.org/aogme.


The American Association of Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine (AACOM) represents the 34 accredited colleges of osteopathic medicine in the United States. These colleges are accredited to deliver instruction at 49 teaching locations in 32 states. In the current academic year, these colleges are educating nearly 29,000 future physicians—more than 20 percent of all U.S. medical students. Six of the colleges are public and 28 are private institutions.

AACOM was founded in 1898 to support and assist the nation's osteopathic medical schools, and to serve as a unifying voice for osteopathic medical education. AACOM’s mission is to promote excellence in osteopathic medical education, in research and in service, and to foster innovation and quality among osteopathic medical colleges to improve the health of the American public.

AOGME is an integral component of AACOM and represents a robust membership of leaders in osteopathic GME.