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Joint AACOM & AODME 2013 Annual Meeting Inspires Attendees to Look Toward the Future of Osteopathic Medicine

The Joint AACOM & AODME 2013 Annual Meeting, themed Foundations for the Future, was held April 24-27 in Baltimore, Maryland. A record turnout of more than 850 osteopathic medical education administrator, faculty, staff, student and physician participants came together to partake in the rich program and robust networking forums featured at this year’s conference. While meeting sessions covered a wide array of important topics, a special emphasis was placed on emerging issues and innovations occurring throughout the continuum of osteopathic medical education and practice. This year’s conference was co-chaired by Karen J. Nichols, DO, MA, Dean of the Chicago College of Osteopathic Medicine of Midwestern University (CCOM/MWU), and Robert A. Cain, DO, Director of Medical Education at the Grandview Medical Center.

The meeting opened the morning of the April 24 with a special appearance and remarks from Representative John Sarbanes (D-MD) (left). After welcoming attendees to his home state, Rep. Sarbanes focused his remarks on the theme of health care reform, highlighting his support for the developing public health care system and thanking members of the audience who backed the Affordable Care Act. In his closing comments, Rep. Sarbanes affirmed that physicians are now in an exceptional position to forge partnerships with their patients through which solutions to current national health care quandaries may be found.

Chairman and Senior Futurist with the Institute for Alternative Futures (IAF) Clement Bezold, PhD, (right) took the stage following Rep. Sarbanes’ welcome and delivered the first plenary address of the conference. He opened his keynote speech, entitled “Emerging Health Care Futures: Implications for Osteopathic Medical Education Reform,” by congratulating the members of the Blue Ribbon Commission on the Advancement of Osteopathic Medical Education (BRC) on the completion of their draft recommendations paper and the innovative, “futurist” thinking that was involved in its production. Dr. Bezold went on to discuss the work of futurists and the study of futures, and the increasingly important role this type of work plays in shaping the future of health care and medical education. Physicians, he said, should graduate from medical school with several possible scenarios in mind of where the medical profession will be in 10-20 years. By thinking in a way that accounts for many possible futures, Dr. Bezold asserted, physicians will be better prepared to circumvent undesirable outcomes and facilitate innovation. Dr. Bezold then outlined the concepts of an IAF resource entitled Primary Care 2025: A Scenario Exploration, which comprises numerous varied scenarios for primary care in 2025, taking into account factors such as the physician shortage, emerging health care technologies and new health care legislation. The purpose of this resource, Dr. Bezold explained, is to help organizations, associations, communities and individuals improve their strategic thinking by gaining a better understanding of the challenges and opportunities facing primary care—now and in the future.

A second, two-part plenary session on the morning of April 25 featured an address by Josiah Macy Jr. Foundation President George E. Thibault, MD (left), as well as a panel discussion of the outcomes of the work completed by the BRC. For a detailed review of this session, read this issue of Inside OME’s “From the President” column.

The third and final plenary session was delivered by Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) Chief Executive Officer Thomas J. Nasca, MD (right), on the morning of April 26. Dr. Nasca’s address, entitled “The Future of GME Accreditation,” focused on new ways and means of moving forward with graduate medical education (GME) reform, and on improving the quality of GME by restructuring accreditation. “All systems are perfectly designed to get the results they are getting,” said Dr. Nasca, who went on to state that one primary option for improving GME is to evaluate programs based on their outcomes rather than on their ability to meet current timelines (i.e., standardize the outcome and individualize the process). Dr. Nasca then led the audience through an overview of the future GME accreditation system basics, emphasizing a continuous program accreditation model and scheduled standards revisions.

Throughout the meeting, attendees enjoyed sessions covering topics such as the advancing role of technology in osteopathic medical education and practice, medical school faculty development, best practices in research, and interprofessional education and practice. Several popular sessions included a dual presentation focusing on challenges in osteopathic and allopathic curricula discussed important current issues in medical college accreditation and featured presentations from Daniel Hunt, MD, MBA, Senior Director for Accreditation Services at the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC), and Konrad C. Miskowicz-Retz, PhD, CAE, Director for the Department of Accreditation with the American Osteopathic Association (AOA). Dr. Cain led another well-attended session discussing the AOA’s efforts to develop an osteopathic competency-based system to evaluate the progress of residents in GME programs.

AACOM Director of Government Relations Pamela Murphy, MSW, delivered a presentation on AACOM’s current policy objectives and related advocacy and legislative efforts. A special Joining Forces initiative-themed session track received positive remarks from attendees. These presentations were an additional meeting program highlight and discussed issues and advances related to addressing the unique treatment needs of veterans and service members, as well as promoting success among the veteran student population.

An AACOM Board of Deans and Council Leadership Luncheon was held on April 25. The invitation-only gathering featured a special presentation by Doug Lederman, Editor of Inside Higher Ed. Mr. Lederman’s presentation detailed his view on how the higher education environment is being impacted by the current combination of financial challenges and technological possibilities facing the nation. At one point during the presentation, Mr. Lederman described the classic higher education model as a “helium balloon with a slow leak,” referring to the slowly advancing role of massive open online courses (MOOCs) and other online learning options. He went on to highlight indicators of the changing higher education landscape, pointing to increased mergers between complementary schools, the increased influence of student debt on applications, and the resulting pressure on schools to provide visibility to their students and applicants as. Although much of his presentation addressed current and future higher education scenarios, Mr. Lederman declared that MOOCs are not a replacement for the mentor/mentee relationships and learning processes that students experience in traditional educational models.

AACOM’s Annual Awards Banquet and AODME’s President and Board of Trustees Installation and Collegium of Fellows Induction Ceremony were held the evening of Friday, April 26, culminating the main conference program. At the awards banquet, AACOM honored the recipients of its Leadership Awards: John B. Crosby, JD, Executive Director of the AOA, who was honored with the William D. Miller Award, , and Matthew Schure, PhD, President and CEO of the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine (PCOM), who received the Robert A. Kistner Award. AACOM also recognized Society of Osteopathic Medical Educators (SOME) Innovation in Medical Education Award winners, the newly inducted National Academy of Osteopathic Medical Educators (NAOME) Fellows, the National Student DO of the Year, the Excellence in Communications Best in Show awardee and the Outstanding Medical Education Research Poster and Presentation Award winner. For more information on each of these awards, and to see a full list of award winners, view the AACOM 2013 Annual Awards Banquet Program.

To view photos, session materials and other resources, visit the Joint AACOM & AODME 2013 Annual Meeting web page.

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April / May 2013
Vol. 7, No. 4 / 5