Joint AACOM & AODME 2015 Annual Conference Fosters Collaboration on Concepts in OME and Contemporary Issues
in Single GME

The Joint AACOM & AODME 2015 Annual Conference, held April 22-25 at the Marriott Harbor Beach Resort & Spa in Ft. Lauderdale, FL, drew attendees from along the osteopathic medical education (OME) continuum for four days of collaborative discussions, innovative and strategic planning, and thought-provoking educational sessions.

This year’s event was the largest and most attended conference co-hosted by AACOM and AODME to date, with more than 950 attendees, 42 different industry-specific exhibitors, and more than 80 educational sessions.

Under the theme The Osteopathic Medical Education Continuum: Exploring Opportunities & Achieving New Milestones, AACOM President and CEO Stephen C. Shannon, DO, described this year’s conference as “a sound educational meeting for osteopathic medical education at a time of change, and it provided the opportunity for our students, educators, GME providers, college colleagues, exhibitors, and sponsors to mingle, establish and/or reinforce the kind of relationships that make our work succeed and our profession so meaningful.”

The 2015 conference focused on new developments in graduate medical education (GME), competency assessments, education research, professional development, and other exciting topics and crucial issues facing academic programs, educators, and students in OME. Popular session topics included AACOM data, interprofessional education and collaboration, assessment and evaluation of core competencies, GME funding, and single GME accreditation.

Conference Highlights

Single GME Sessions
A highlight of this year’s 2015 conference program was the series of popular single GME sessions, which focused on different aspects of the transition to a unified accreditations system. In an effort to provide ongoing information to constituents on the progress and transition in U.S. GME, single accreditation was a primary focus of the 2015 Joint Annual Conference, including topics like clarification on pathways to ACGME accreditation, new and revised ACGME program requirements, updates on Osteopathic Recognition and the Osteopathic Neuromusculoskeletal Medicine specialty, and about plans for implementing the single GME accreditation system.
Pre-Conference Workshops
This year's conference kicked-off with a series of pre-conference workshops on Tuesday, April 21, two of which were single GME sessions:

  • OPTI Workshop: ACGME Institutional Sponsors—a pre-conference OPTI workshop focusing on institutional accreditation, and included educational and interactive sessions developed by the AOA-ACGME-AACOM Joint Education Committee. Speakers were representatives from the ACGME as well as the Osteopathic Principles Committee.
  • Strategies for Assessment Using ePortfolios: Competencies, Milestones and EPAs—for which curriculum leaders have recognized the challenges to the portfolio process being implemented into the accreditation of medical education.
  • Other pre-conference workshop themes included: 49 Shades of ResearchSocratic Circles: A New Alternative Teaching Model; and COMAT Program Pre-Conference Workshop and Reception, which was sponsored by the National Board of Osteopathic Medical Examiners (NBOME).

Wednesday, April 22
Grand Opening ReceptionThis year’s opening plenary session, held on the morning of Wednesday, April 22, was delivered by Thomas Nasca, MD, MACP, Chief Executive Officer of the ACGME. This single GME session was well-attended and was followed by One-on-One Informational Sessions with ACGME Review Committee Executive Directors. In addition, the two-part session, “Ebb and Flow: Steering the GME Ship through Changing Tides,” helped set the stage for the proceeding “Deep Dive” presentation. In this session, Kirsten Waarala, DO, Director of Medical Education, Garden City Hospital, emphasized the current state of GME with discussions of AOA standards, institutional and program site visits, and the “nuts and bolts” of running the GME office, as well as key elements and comparisons of ACGME requirements. The day concluded with a Grand Opening Reception and viewing of the exhibit hall. 

Thursday, April 23
Conference activities on Thursday, April 23 began with the single GME plenary session entitled, “Evolutionary Transformations: Realizing the Promise of a Competency-Based Approach to Medical Education,” which was co-presented by Eric Holmboe, MD, Karin Esposito, MD, PhD, Robert Cain, DO, Jill Patton, DO, and Margaret A. Wilson, DO. This year’s AACOM Leadership Lunch, held for members of the AACOM Board of Deans (BOD) and council leadership, featured a special presentation by the Gold Humanism Honor Society (GHHS) Director Lynn White, MD. Her presentation, "What the Gold Humanism Honor Society Can Do for Your Institution," discussed the meaning of membership, how the Electronic Residency Application Service (ERAS) application will assist program directors, and the advantages of establishing a GHHS at institutions.

Single GME Deep Dive PanelFollowing the BOD luncheon, another highly-anticipated keynote, “Deep Dive: Single GME Accreditation,” featured presentations by ACGME leadership and staff--listen to the the audio presentation here. The exciting four-hour educational session, designed by the ACGME, AOA, and AACOM Joint Education Committee, offered the latest information and guidance on the transition to the single GME accreditation system. The event detailed the institutional and program application process, significant developments and the latest updates in the transition, and provided an opportunity for discussion with key leaders in ACGME.

Friday, April 24
On Friday, April 24 K. Scott Griffith, MSc, Founding Partner and Principal Collaborator, Scott Griffith Collaborative Solutions, LLC, delivered the third and final plenary session, “An Opportunity for Osteopathic Medical Education to Create Change in Healthcare: What is Collaborative 'Just Culture'?” That evening, AACOM held its 2015 Annual Awards Banquet, a special evening event hosted by AACOM to recognize the exceptional accomplishments of individuals within the osteopathic medical community. During this year’s Annual Awards Banquet AACOM honored recipients of our 2015 National Awards. For more information on each of the conferred awards and to see the full list of this year’s national award winners, view the 2015 AACOM Awards Banquet Program and read AACOM’s recent press release.

Saturday, April 25
COSGP group photoOn Saturday, April 25 AACOM’s Board of Trustees and Board of Deans met to discuss strategic insights and plans for the Association. The Annual Conference concluded Sunday afternoon with AACOM’s Council of Osteopathic Student Government Presidents (COSGP) meeting and lunch, which provided the opportunity for osteopathic student leaders to share information and ideas in OME with their peers, and in collaboration with AACOM. 

AACOM continues to work on numerous operational details and developments in single GME, and key to these efforts is ensuring that timely and accurate information is transmitted. For regular updates stay tuned to the single GME accreditation system page on our website and on twitter by following @AACOMmunities.

If you missed this year's annual conference and/or would like to view this year's session materials, visit the Joint AACOM & AODME 2015 Annual Conference Program & Session Materials web page.

AACOM is already well into the planning process for the upcoming 2016 Annual Conference, which will be held April 6-9 at the Renaissance Washington in downtown Washington, DC. Continue to check the AACOM Annual Conference web page for news and updates about next year’s event. 

Grand Opening Reception
Inside OME Header
April/May 2015
Vol. 9, No. 4/5

2015 Joint AACOM & AODME Annual Conference