Dear AODME Colleagues,
AODME kicked off the Spring with an excellent joint conference with AACOM in Baltimore! Over 900 members from both organizations had the opportunity to attend sessions on GME, UME and the transitions between the two. With the theme “Educating Leaders: Integrated Health Systems” members could find topics to meet all of their needs. We had 30 sessions including presentations dedicated to GME and SAS as among the topics covered. AODME has enjoyed huge success with our joint meetings and we look forward to planning for next year.
AODME is in the middle of a monumental vote on the future of our organization. After two years of deliberation, debate and thoughtful insight into what our members would need going into the future and to stay within the mission of AODME, the Board of Directors realized that unification with AACOM would give us the best options for support, organization and collaboration. The infrastructure within AACOM will allow AODME to continue with our desire to provide education through webinars, joint meetings with other GME organizations and to create tools that will be helpful to our members to meet their needs in educating their residents and faculty on the principles of osteopathic medicine. We will announce in June what our members have decided upon and will give you a framework of where we go from there.
I am honored to be in the position of leading our organization through this period. While change is difficult for all of us, this is an opportunity to build from our strengths and develop new relationships with other GME organizations while we move forward on building on Osteopathic Principles and Practice. Osteopathic Recognition was created as a result of the Single Accreditation System (SAS) and the ACGME. It signifies the commitment by a program to teach and assess Osteopathic Principles and Practices (OPP) at the graduate medical education level. It is the only way for our residency programs to maintain the continuum from UME to GME and continue to develop, and expand upon the skills of OMT and the principles that were taught at the COM Level. It is imperative that we continue to support our educators and programs to have the resources to apply for Osteopathic Recognition as well as to run the programs with education, materials and expertise and faculty development.
The road through SAS that started in 2015 has been a bumpy one and we are only halfway through the journey to July 1, 2020. One of the other roles for our organization is advocacy for our members and GME programs. We were recently asked by some of our members in Michigan to comment on the recent decision by American Board of Internal Medicine (ABIM) and support the programs that have AOBIM certified program directors. The ABIM has recently decided that they will only allow AOBIM certified program directors to sign off on their graduates to sit for the exam until 2020. During this three-year period, they have opened up the option for all faculty and program directors to sit for their ABIM exam. While the ACGME and the IM RRC have stated that they accept the AOBIM program directors to lead their programs, the ABIM is placing additional restrictions on those programs. The board was polled and gave full support to writing a letter to them regarding our displeasure in this decision. The letter was sent to ABIM on May 19, 2017.
We have many webinars scheduled in the coming months and we will keep you informed on decisions coming down from the AOA and ACGME that affect your training programs. We will provide an update in June, after the vote has closed.
Joanne K. Baker, DO, FAODME