The American Osteopathic Association (AOA) held its Annual Business meeting in Chicago last week. Steve Morton, DO, President of the AOAO, and I attended the Board of Trustees portion of the meeting. The AOA Board of Trustees is responsible for implementing the policies passed by the AOA House of Delegates, and has the primary responsibility for CME and board certification activities. During the meeting, the trustees hear reports from the various AOA departments and affiliated organizations.
The AOA will be dealing with a significant financial deficit this year and will need to use reserves to balance the budget; however, the resolution to do so was not hotly debated. The main drivers of the deficit are the loss of income associated with the single accreditation system and the lawsuit settlement that mandated uncoupling of membership from certification.
Although several resolutions were passed regarding CME and board certification, none will affect the AOAO or the services we provide to our members.
Terry Philbin, DO, Vice President of the AOAO, and I attended the House of Delegates portion of the annual business meeting. The AOA is represented by nearly 525 delegates, mostly from states with the number of delegates apportioned by the number of DOs in that state. The policy discussions are often vigorously debated, especially those with social issues. The House of Delegates also elects the new AOA board members. Ron Burns, DO was installed as the new president and Tom Ely, DO, was chosen president-elect. One of our members, Julie Sees, DO, was elected third vice president of the AOA. Kevin Klauer, DO, was introduced to the delegates as the new CEO of the AOA. His short tenure of leadership, about eight weeks, has already brought a whole new atmosphere to the AOA, one of transparency, communication and energy. Dr. Burn’s theme for this coming year is that the AOA is “physician directed and physician lead.”
Just a few words regarding the single accreditation system. The next orthopedic review committee meeting will take place in mid-September. That meeting will be devoted almost exclusively to osteopathic programs. I hope to report after the meeting that a significant number of our programs achieve initial accreditation. Profession wide, it was reported at the annual meeting last week that 92% of all AOA programs that applied to ACGME are now accredited by that body. On a related note, the first orthopedic surgery residency has submitted an application for osteopathic recognition and seven more have opened the application and begun to complete the application. I hope this is a start of a trend.
I look forward to seeing many of you in Colorado Springs at the AOAO 2019 Annual Fall Meeting. The CME Committee has a great program planned and those of you who attend will find The Broadmoor is a beautiful property. If you haven’t already, register at https://www.aoao.org/meetings/annual/.