Graduate Medical Education
On June 30, 2020, the transition to a Single Accreditation System for graduate medical education concluded for the vast majority of previously American Osteopathic Association accredited training programs. Unfortunately, the COVID 19 pandemic precluded ACGME from conducting site visits to four orthopedic residency programs. As a result, these four programs (Aultman, Garden City, St. Anthony in Oklahoma City and Larkin) remain in “continued pre-accreditation” status with ACGME. Through a special arrangement with the AOA and the program training and review committee, these programs were offered the option to accept new trainees for the 2020–2021 academic year. Although the approval came at the last minute, several of these programs were able to sign candidates for the academic year just stated. To the best of my knowledge, a date for the final accreditation decision has not been set; I assume these programs will be on the agenda for ACGME review committee in September. If any of these programs fail to achieve initial ACGME accreditation, the AOA and the AOAO Evaluating Committee will continue to supervise and provide accreditation to these programs until the final residents have completed their training.
As of this writing four orthopedic residencies have applied for or been granted Osteopathic Recognition by ACGME. York Hospital (Dr. DiPasquale) and South Point (Dr. Hampton) are initially accredited. Riverside (Dr. Faerber) and Doctors Hospital (Dr. Baker) have submitted their applications.
The date of June 30, 2020 also marked the graduation of the final residents from the orthopedic program in St. Louis. Since I completed my training there in 1977, and this was one of the early training programs in the Midwest, this event is indeed bittersweet. Early on the decision was made not to pursue ACGME accreditation given its position as a community hospital with a small program.
Enhanced Educational Opportunities
Recently the AOAO Board of Directors appointed a task force to explore and implement enhanced online educational opportunities for all member types of the AOAO. As has been said many times in the past several months, challenging times open the opportunity for change and so it is with your association, the AOAO. Now more than ever, the value of education without the expense and worry surrounding travel is very real. Although a specific plan is not yet in place, the task force will be asked to explore all options that would benefit all our members. Stay tuned for more details as the plan unfolds and please reach out to Joye Stewart with constructive ideas for this project.
Annual Fall Meeting
By now you most likely know that the 2020 Annual Fall Meeting is going to be all virtual. We anticipate that not only will there be the usual CME opportunities but in addition we will have the Awards Ceremony with the introduction of new Fellows, the installation of Dr. Fred McAlpin as our new president, section meetings and various “business” topics. Please be sure to open and read your emails as the details emerge regarding the program.
As many of you know, I am retiring as Executive Director of the AOAO on October 31, 2020. I want to sincerely thank those of you who have supported the AOAO during my past 12 years in this position. Neither time nor space allows me to mention all of you by name. I regret that I will not be able to personally thank you in person due to the change in plans for the upcoming Annual Fall Meeting. Please continue your membership in and support of the AOAO for as an Osteopathic Orthopedic surgeon, this is your home.