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Honoring Pride Month and Recommitting to Health Equity and Representation

June 10, 2021

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From the President


Robert A. Cain, DO 
President and CEO
American Association of Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine

Pride Month is an opportunity to celebrate the positive impacts the LGBTQIA+ community has had on society and recognize and recommit to overcoming the inequities, including health and representation inequities, that LGBTQIA+ individuals continue to face today.

Despite the considerable progress made since the Stonewall Uprising in June 1969—from historic Supreme Court rulings to LGBTQIA+ public office appointments and election victories across nearly every level of government—prejudice, violence and oppression still threaten the safety, health and wellbeing of LGBTQIA+ individuals.

Osteopathic medicine prioritizes holistic wellness, recognizing that true health requires the health of a person’s body, mind and spirit. For us to help our patients—all patients—be truly healthy, we must actively work toward dismantling health disparities and their underlying causes, and at the same time, address the inequities within our own programs and institutions.

AACOM is committed to advancing diversity, equity and inclusion and to educating and training osteopathic medical students who will uphold these values as physicians. We also recognize that diversity among physicians results in improved health outcomes for all patients. As such, we are committed to recruiting a diverse cohort of qualified osteopathic medical school applicants who better reflect the patient populations they will serve.

Blake Kinsel, DO, 2021 Transformative Care Continuum (TCC) graduate, was awarded the prestigious Excellence in Public Health Award from the US Public Health Service Physician Professional Advisory Committee for his efforts to expand point-of-care HIV testing and prevention services with the LGBT Center of Cleveland and the Doctors of the Streets program. The TCC program is a partnership between the Ohio University Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine and the Cleveland Clinic to educate and train family medicine physicians with an emphasis on community health.

Last fall, we invited Chris Trudell, MEd, assistant dean of students at San Francisco State University, to offer AACOM Safe Zone Ally training to admissions faculty at our member colleges of osteopathic medicine, providing an opportunity to learn about LGBTQIA+ identities, gender and sexuality, and to examine prejudice, assumptions and privilege.

LGBTQIA+ individuals are members of every community, every race and ethnicity, every age and every socioeconomic status. And, as we know all too well, marginalized communities are also at greater risk of deadly violence and social injustice. As osteopathic medical educators, we are committed to addressing the health inequities that exist for these individuals, and to recruiting more diverse osteopathic medical students, to advance the health of us all.