he AACOM 2015 Scholar-in-Residence, Stephen S. Davis, PhD, Director of Faculty Development at Ohio University Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine (OU-HCOM), completed his term as Scholar in mid-December with a final presentation to AACOM staff. His presentation highlighted outcomes of the activities and events he participated in and described his “monumental experience with the awesome AACOM staff, three projects, experiencing DC, and deep learning about some of what it takes to administrate and orchestrate our osteopathic medical education universe.” He also provided an explanation of his in-residence project, including the final products of his work.

10-2015_S-Davis_scholar-in-residence Dr. Davis ​(at left) spoke about lessons learned stating that, “As might be expected, I learned much more about what AACOM is and does. As important, I expanded my knowledge of all the key COM faculty development individuals and their efforts to continuously improve our osteopathic medical educators.”

When asked about takeaways from his experience, Dr. Davis described, “I left with a new and profound appreciation for the people who are pouring their lives into crafting osteopathic medical education into the best teaching model for patient care practitioners the world has ever known. It’s definitely our people who embrace the osteopathic philosophy and principles that are the key to our success.”

“Finally, a super-bonus ‘takeaway’ is the relationships and friendships gained by walking into and working in their [AACOM] world for a brief period. The AACOM staff treated me with such respect and kindness and deference, ever helpful to me, and all inclusive of me.”

Scholarly Success

Dr. Davis’ engaging presentation detailed his three separate but related projects, and in his own words, describes how each has the potential to make a difference in osteopathic medicine:

COM Faculty Development Resource: Produced a spreadsheet including information for all of the U.S. colleges of osteopathic medicine (COMs) faculty development, osteopathic manipulative medicine (OMM) program chairs, and third- and fourth-year clinical directors … something Dr. Davis has been wanting to do for years.

“My hope is to increase our faculty development collaboration across COMs with this informational tool that handily lists all the faculty development people and products within one document.”

Survey: Conducted a survey through AACOM’s SOME online community to try to determine what our osteopathic clinical preceptors needed most to precept osteopathic students. The survey asked, “What is the one thing most needed to precept third and fourth-year osteopathic medical students?” The top three responses were:

  • Faculty development on osteopathic principles and practice (OPP)/OMM
  • Clear expectations (remove 'NA' on Core Competency #1 OPP/OMM)
  • Prepare students as OPP/OMM ambassadors
“My hope for this “needs analysis” was to provide empirical evidence for where to focus our future efforts to reverse the high percentage of ‘N/A’ on Core Competency #1 OPP/OMM.”

Osteopathic Conversation Starter: Developed an “Osteopathic Conversation Starter” card for students and preceptors. The Osteopathic Conversation Starter card contains four top benefits for its use, the four osteopathic tenants of OPP, and two questions that should be used to invoke OMM: “What did you find in your structural exam?”; and “How would you utilize OMM in this case and why?”

“My hope for this project is for the card to begin to meet the needs identified in the survey, and that the card will be used by students (as ambassadors) and preceptors to reverse the high percentage of ‘N/A’ on Core Competency #1.”

Plans for the Future

“I plan to apply for the AACOM Medical Education Research Grant Program to do a pilot study on the Osteopathic Conversation Starter card with interested COMs and use the COM Faculty Development Resource spreadsheet to help provide the best practices and service to my faculty at OU-HCOM,” Dr. Davis explains. “The future of osteopathic medicine is in our hands, and how the transition to a single accreditation system plays out for our osteopathic community may very well depend on the work we do in undergraduate medical education, promoting, equipping, and encouraging the next generation of DOs!”

Advice for Future Scholars-in-Residence or those Considering Applying

“It is a fabulous opportunity of support and encouragement to scratch an itch that’s been on your back burner or to explore a new idea to improve osteopathic medical education. The experience of joining the AACOM staff alone is worth the time and effort it takes to apply. I would be happy to share my application experience with anyone who inquires.”

“In final, huge thanks to AACOM leadership and staff, especially to Luke Mortensen, PhD, and Brendan Shepardson for their work to make this program possible and available!”

For more information visit AACOM’s Faculty Development web page, or to learn how to apply at AACOM’s Scholar-in-Residence Program web page.


Contact Luke Mortensen, PhD
AACOM Vice President for Medical Education
(301) 948-4143 
Inside OME Header
January 2016
Vol. 10, No. 1