Students Seek More Information on Future of Osteopathic Profession
By signing this petition, I signify my agreement with the outlined intent, purpose, and expectations; I feel that students need additional information to form a more educated opinion about the proposed single graduate medical education accreditation system before supporting the SOMA resolution; I agree with some or all of the listed reasons to delay and I request that the AOA cease all negotiations with the ACGME until students can become better educated about the merger and student approval can be reassessed.
Background: The Student Osteopathic Medical Association (SOMA) plans to submit a resolution to the American Osteopathic Association’s (AOA) House of Delegates recommending that the AOA proceed with entry into a single graduate medical education accreditation system. This resolution has been labeled by many Osteopathic medical students as hurried, unrepresentative of their best interests, and threatening to the future well-being and uniqueness of Osteopathic medicine. At the root of this issue appears minimal education about the merger, inadequate research and predictive modeling on the merger’s impact, and suggestions from some student leadership to support the merger, prior to correction of these issues.
Intent: To quantify the current number of Osteopathic medical students who oppose SOMA’s proposed resolution and outline reasonable expectations for SOMA/AOA leadership prior to proceeding with the merger
Purpose: To encourage SOMA leadership to recognize the significant amount of student opposition to the merger and delay their decision to support until more information can be gathered and education regarding the merger and its potential shortcomings can be properly disseminated to all Osteopathic medical students
Reasons to Delay:
§ The current Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) has several significant omissions that must be addressed prior to approval, including: recognition of the COMLEX-USA as equivalent to meet criteria for admission into the unified GME programs; a requirement that osteopathic board certification exams will be recognized as equivalent to the American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS) certification exams; that the unified programs recognize AOA board certification on an equal basis with ABMS certification for the positions of program director, director of medical education, and designated institutional review officer without requiring an exception to be granted.
§ The current MOU has several potential sequelae that have not been fully studied, including: reducing the number of current residency slots; making access to current residency slots more challenging for Osteopathic graduates; reducing membership in AOA specialty colleges and the AOA itself; future expectations that Osteopathic medical schools conform to Allopathic school regulations under the Liasion Committee on Medical Education (LCME).
§ The ramifications of this merger actually go beyond the parameters of the MOU between the AOA and the ACGME and the future impact on Osteopathic medicine cannot be properly anticipated
§ Students need better information to be prepared and shared with them to improve their understanding of the merger and, subsequently, solidify their opinions
Expectations for SOMA/AOA leadership:
§ Appoint a committee to oversee the collection, analysis, and publication of student, physician, and other third party, expert opinions about the merger, both in support and opposition
§ Prepare educational literature based on the information received to be shared with all Osteopathic medical students to encourage thought, discussion, and unbiased opinion formation
§ Following discussion, reassess overall student opinion with collection, analysis, and publication of data that: accurately reflects student approval of the current MOU and provides more objective information to properly guide a resolution for the AOA House of Delegates, whether in support or opposition