n Saturday, July 18, John W. Becher, DO, (pictured at left) was inaugurated as the 119th President of the American Osteopathic Association (AOA). The inauguration ceremony took place during the AOA’s 2015 Annual Business Meeting in Chicago, IL. Dr. Becher’s installation marked the end of the presidential term of Robert S. Juhasz, DO, who addressed the AOA House of Delegates on Friday, July 17, reflecting on a period of transformative change for the osteopathic medical profession.
During Dr. Becher's inaugural address, he urged his colleagues to get involved outside the osteopathic medical profession, whether through community leadership or engaging in public policy. If half of all DOs and osteopathic medical students spent a few minutes a week informing people who aren’t familiar with the profession, he calculated, more than 2.5 million people could be reached this year. This kind of grassroots engagement is critical, he said:
"What we can do for the osteopathic profession is to stand up and tell the world why we are proud to be osteopathic physicians."
Boyd R. Buser, DO, (pictured at left) member of the AACOM Board of Deans (BOD) and Vice President for Health Affairs and Dean of the University of Pikeville-Kentucky College of Osteopathic Medicine (UP-KYCOM), was named president-elect of the AOA. As an AOA board-certified physician in osteopathic manipulative medicine (OMM) and family medicine, Dr. Buser, has served the AOA in numerous capacities, including recent Chair of the Department of Business Affairs and the Bureau of Osteopathic Graduate Medical Education Development, among other appointments. His term as AOA President will begin in July 2016.
Dr. Becher, an alumnus of the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine (PCOM), currently serves as chairman of PCOM’s Department of Emergency Medicine. He is also the director of osteopathic medical education (OME) for AtlantiCare Regional Medical Center in Atlantic City, NJ. During his decades of experience as a teacher and residency director, Dr. Becher has held leadership positions within the AOA, including as a member of the editorial board of The Journal of the American Osteopathic Association (JAOA), the National Board of Osteopathic Medical Examiners (NBOME), and is past president of the Pennsylvania Osteopathic Medical Association (POMA).
As AOA President, Dr. Becher plans to focus on raising awareness for osteopathic medicine and facilitating a successful transition to a single GME accreditation system. Reflecting on his more than 40 years in emergency medicine, Dr. Becher described in his inaugural address, the unique position that the osteopathic medical profession is currently in to lead in U.S. health care.