At the 2018 Annual Meeting, SAOAO held elections to select new members of the board. This update will provide an opportunity for you to get to know the new board that will be serving the current medical students for the next year. We would like to thank Jeffery Gibson and the immediate past board for their service and leadership, and we look forward to continuing the progress they have made with their projects.
Our current goals as a board are to continue providing meaningful experiences for medical students at AOAO conferences, incorporate research opportunities, improve communication to the individual chapters, and increase student membership.
In addition to electing a new board, we also enjoyed a program director’s panel where individual program directors spoke about their respective programs. We want to thank all those program directors that participated and hope they know how helpful that was to all the students in attendance. We would also like to thank all the residents and speakers who volunteered for the various informative and interactive sessions we held.
2018-19 SAOAO National Board Members:
President: Anna Roman-Pleschko
Anna is a third year medical student at Nova Southeastern KP-COM where she served as an OPP Pre-Doctoral Fellow. During the fellowship year Anna learned to incorporate Osteopathic Medicine into her patient care while learning detailed musculoskeletal anatomy, she conducted both Orthopedic Surgery and Osteopathic Manual Medicine research, and taught the Osteopathic principles to the incoming medical students. As a former NCAA Division I soccer athlete at Northern Illinois University, her exposure to Orthopedic Surgery was at an early age and she has continued to embrace her ambition for the field by regularly attending fracture conferences, working with Orthopedic mentors, and conducting and presenting Orthopedic research. Anna additionally cofounded a sports performance company, Victory PROformance and in her spare time helps her fiance manage the business. Her hobbies include playing soccer, working out, and spending time with her fiance and dog.
Anna has transitioned from former SAOAO Vice-President to the Presidential position with the vision of expanding the research opportunities that AOAO conferences provide to medical students. Additional goals for the year include increasing the national SAOAO membership and continuing to expand student track options at the annual meetings.
Vice President: Jake Checketts
Jake is an MSIII at Oklahoma State University College of Osteopathic medicine. Jake is this year’s Vice President, and looks forward to fulfilling his role to the best of his ability. Jake’s interest in orthopedics started in undergrad through classes as an athletic therapy major. Jake is fascinated with the interplay between biomechanics and performance/quality of life, and has enjoyed his experiences seeing the improvement in quality of life given to patients by the orthopedic surgeons that have mentored him. Jake’s current translational research focuses on evidence based medicine and improving transparency and methodological quality in orthopedic research. Jake is currently conducting clinical studies comparing patellar fracture fixation methods, and quadriceps function following tibial nailing. Jake has given podium and poster presentations at the AOAO, AAOS, and MSTS Annual Meetings. Jake has also received multiple medical student funding awards, has helped write a OTA fellowship grant under consideration, and is the primary author of a NIH R15 grant proposal for a pediatric orthopedic surgery project that is also currently under consideration. Jake looks to continue conducting research during residency, and into his career as an orthopedic surgeon. One day Jake hopes to pay forward the mentorship he has received from his osteopathic orthopedic mentors.
Secretary: Michael Abbott
Michael Abbott is a third year medical student at Des Moines University College of Osteopathic Medicine. He will be serving as the Secretary of the SAOAO this year, and he looks forward to working with and serving his fellow students and future colleagues. His interest in anatomy and surgery led him to first shadow an orthopedic surgeon as an undergraduate at Brigham Young University. He has always loved problem solving and continual teaching and learning, which further drew him to the field of orthopedics. In addition to presenting research for the Des Moines University Orthopedics Journal Club and DMU Research Symposium, he has shown his interest in teaching as a peer tutor and teaching assistant at DMU. Michael is also frequently involved in service through his church, as a student ambassador and interviewer for the DMU admissions department, and through several DMU clubs. He enjoys spending time with his wife and son, hiking, swimming, basketball, football, and building computers.
Treasurer: Johann Braithwaite
Johann Paul Braithwaite is currently a third year medical student at Nova Southeastern University KP-COM. Born and raised in the island of Trinidad and Tobago, he relocated with his family to Florida in 2007. His interests include sports such as soccer, football and golf. In medical school, Johann quickly gained interest in Orthopedic surgery and has since attended the last two AOAO national meetings. He continues to show dedication to the field of orthopedics by writing his first case study, “Multilevel surgical intervention for recurrent lower extremity deformities in a pediatric patient with spastic diplegic cerebral palsy”, and currently serving as SAOAO National Treasurer. Some fun facts about Johann: He has an identical twin brother that flies F18s in the US Navy. Both Johann and his twin brother played soccer at Manchester United youth soccer academy in 2009. Johann was the founder of “yournightlyfe.com” in 2013, a short-lived nightlife guide for the South Florida area.
Conference chair: Daniel Arias
Daniel Arias is a third year medical student at Nova Southeastern University KP-COM. He has served as the SAOAO president at Nova Southeastern University, as well as the SAOAO National Conference Chair for the past two years. Driven by a desire to help others, he has been inducted into the honors service fraternity Sigma Sigma Phi. Fixing broken things is a passion of his, lending itself to attempts to repair cars, stereos, furniture, and a variety of oddities that probably should have been left to the past. It is this meeting of passions that drives Daniel to pursue a career in Orthopedics; helping to return people to their activities and restoring their ability to enjoy life. Apart from school, Daniel enjoys music, family time, watersports, the outdoors, and exploring new experiences.
Conference co-chair: Matt Gibbs
Matt Gibbs is a current third year student at Des Moines University College of Osteopathic Medicine. His interest in orthopedics grew during undergrad as he combined his love for carpentry and architecture with his love for science and medicine. While at DMU, Matt has served as the local chapter president for SAOAO, a surgical simulation teaching assistant, a peer tutor and is a member of Sigma Sigma Phi Honor and Service Society. He is also currently conducting research on shoulder biomechanics with his latest presentation taking place at the American Society of Biomechanics Annual Meeting at the Mayo Clinic this past August. Matt enjoys playing the guitar, spending time with his wife and watching the Utah Jazz. He sincerely hopes that while serving as Conference Co-Chair he can help provide information and knowledge that will help all those involved in SAOAO achieve their goal of becoming and orthopedic surgeon.
Recruitment chair: Kevin Kadado
Kevin Kadado is currently in his second year of medical school at the Texas College of Osteopathic Medicine. He has served as the Historian for his school’s SAOAO chapter for the past year. Kevin was born in San Antonio, Texas but moved with his family to their home country of Lebanon shortly after. He moved back to Texas when he was 15 years old and has been in the Dallas/Fort Worth area ever since. He is trilingual and speaks English, Arabic and French, fluently. In his free time he enjoys to play golf and watch college football. While he no longer has time to do so, he used to enjoy working on cars in his college years and built a Jeep for the sole purpose of offroading. Kevin’s interest in Orthopedics stems from his experiences with his sister’s scoliosis during his younger years. Through shadowing and working with orthopedic surgeons, Kevin has solidified his interest in orthopedics into a passion.
Co-recruitment chair: Cameron Beck
Cameron Beck has completed his second year of medical school at University of North Texas Health Science Center/Texas College of Osteopathic Medicine and is currently taking a sabbatical to work as a research assistant for a local Orthopedic Surgeon. During this year of research, Cameron has also taken the time to volunteer as a teaching assistant and prosector within the school’s anatomy lab. His passion for Orthopedics stems from his time before medical school where he worked in the NFL as a certified athletic trainer. Although he enjoyed the job, he was driven by his desire to learn more about medicine, specifically Orthopedics. In his free time, he enjoys traveling with his wife, serving coffee at his church, and playing golf with friends.