Task Force on Ethics and Professionalism


The Task Force on Ethics and Professionalism was formed in 2018 in the wake of the Larry Nassar trial and conviction. The Task Force is led by Chair Margaret Wilson, DO, Dean, A.T. Still University Kirksville College of Osteopathic Medicine and Co-Chair Timothy Kowalski, DO, Dean, Edward Via College of Osteopathic Medicine-Carolinas. Their charge includes evaluating current professional standards and ethics, assessing curricular designs, and making necessary recommendations to further strengthen every aspect of the osteopathic medical education system and professional standards. Three policies were released in May 2019 with additional topics to be released in the summer and fall 2019.

Task Force Members

Chair: Margaret Wilson, DO, Dean, A.T. Still University Kirksville College of Osteopathic Medicine

Timothy Kowalski, DO, Dean, Edward Via College of Osteopathic Medicine-Carolinas Campus

Council on Student Affairs (CSA) Representative:
Thomas Moorman, EdD, Vice President for Student Affairs, University of North Texas Health Science Center/Texas College of Osteopathic Medicine

Curriculum Representative:
Trish Sexton, DHEd, Associate Dean for Curriculum, A.T. Still University Kirksville College of Osteopathic Medicine

Educational Council on Osteopathic Principles (ECOP) Representative:
Stacey Pierce-Talsma, DO, MS, Chair OPP Department, Touro University College of Osteopathic Medicine-California

Expert Representative:
Martin A. Finkel, DO, Professor of Pediatrics and the Medical Director and Co-Founder of the Child Abuse Research Education & Service (CARES) Institute, Rowan University School of Osteopathic Medicine

Council of Osteopathic Student Government Presidents (COSGP) Representative:
Taran W. Silva, 2d Lt, U.S. Air Force, Osteopathic Medical Student at Michigan State University College of Osteopathic Medicine

Assembly of Osteopathic Graduate Medical Educators (AOGME) Representative:
Steven Gates, DO, Vice President of Graduate Medical Education, DIO, Corpus Christi Medical Center

Society of Osteopathic Medical Educators (SOME) Representative
: Nicole Wadsworth, DO, Senior Associate Dean, New York Institute of Technology College of Osteopathic Medicine

AACOM Staff Liaison:
Mark Speicher, PhD, Senior Vice President for Medical Education and Research.      
Email: mspeicher@aacom.org

Model Policies

The AACOM model policies were created as templates and each can be customized to fit the institution whether it is a freestanding college of osteopathic medicine (COM), a COM that is part of a larger university or system, medical center, hospital, clinic, or health system.

Best Practices

The Task Force has worked with the OME community to explore the importance of this topic to our COMs and their students. One such effort was student-led research from Western University of Health Sciences College of Osteopathic Medicine of the Pacific entitled Prevalence, Attitudes, and Effects of Sexual Assault and Harassment in Osteopathic Medical Schools, a Pilot Study. This study describes the experience of osteopathic medical students from around the country of sexual harassment and victimization on COM campuses. The authors received first place in the student poster category at Educating Leaders 2019, the AACOM Annual Conference.