Dear reader, the following tongue in cheek-yet extremely informative- article is brought to you by Jarrad Morgan, OMSIII, COSGP National Parliamentarian; Gabrielle Rozenberg, OMSIII, COSGP Legislative Representative; & the letter Q
Gather around to listen and allow us to regale you with tales of how AACOM’s Council of Osteopathic Student Government Presidents (COSGP) confronted and vanquished its enemies through the formation of a ferocious NOSC (National Osteopathic Student Caucus) this past July. The purpose of a NOSC is to formulate the official student position on resolutions that will be presented to the AOA House of Delegates (HOD), which in turn sets the policies for our profession. Led by a charismatic barrister wielding a mighty hammer, the courageous participants engaged in many battles for the future of medical education in the United States.
In an effort to present a unified front and face down its fiendishly formidable foes, the members of the NOSC passed several resolutions by unanimous consent (a parliamentary tool used when only a madman might object to passage of the motion). With this cunning maneuver, the NOSC passed H-201 (increase graduate medical education [GME] opportunities), H-205 (GME preference for U.S. graduates), H-304 (prohibit discrimination against osteopathic students), and H-345 (train students to use electronic medical records).
Henceforth, in an effort to ease reference, we will review this epic confrontation in numerical order. We recommend that you get a tall glass of water before reading further because things are going to get a little dry.
H-200 sought to help address the health shortage in rural America. To this end, H-200 encourages the development of teaching centers in rural Federally Qualified Health Centers. The hope is that by training residents in rural areas, they will be more likely to remain in these areas after their training is complete. The NOSC approved this resolution, which was also approved at HOD.
H-202 sought to require new schools to produce sufficient GME programs to match their student population as a prerequisite to initial approval as an osteopathic school. Given that the scope of the resolution lay outside the American Osteopathic Association’s authority, the NOSC requested referral, and the resolution was referred by the HOD.
H-218 sought to prevent the recommendations of the Blue Ribbon Commission from coming into effect. The NOSC rejected this resolution because of the proud history of creativity in the osteopathic profession. Therefore, it held that osteopathic medicine should strive to continue to be at the forefront of innovation in medical education. This was the one resolution with which the American Osteopathic Association (AOA) House of Delegates (HOD) concluded differently than the NOSC, upholding the resolution with edits.
H-343 asked the AOA to state that it is opposed to recreational marijuana use by osteopathic physicians, residents, and students in light of legalization in Colorado and Washington. The NOSC requested referral back to the authors to modify the language to include all federally illegal substances if any. The HOD referred the resolution.
H-604 asked that the AOA encourage physicians, medical schools, and residency programs to display and disseminate the evidence-based medicine that supports the use of osteopathic manipulative medicine. As this is an act that the national student body has requested for several years, the NOSC approved this resolution. The HOD also approved this resolution.
H-628 requested that the AOA and the Visiting Student Application Service (VSAS) establish guidelines for charges made by training sites regarding the fees paid by osteopathic medical students to train at those sites. Although the NOSC agreed with this sentiment, it also recognized that neither the AOA nor VSAS has the authority to dictate the fees demanded by training sites. Therefore, the NOSC rejected this resolution. The HOD did the same.
In spirit, H-806 sought to level the playing field between allopathic and osteopathic physicians vying for Program Director positions under the new single accreditation system. Unfortunately, the language in the resolution was too ambiguous with respect to the requirements for osteopathic physicians to become sole Program Directors. Given that the national student body supports the equality of M.D.s and D.O.s, the NOSC approved this resolution. However, the NOSC Leadership Panel later changed the student opinion to an abstention in light of the ambiguous language.
H-808 was a resolution put forth by the Student Osteopathic Medical Association in partnership with the COSGP on behalf of the national student body. This resolution expressed student support of the single accreditation system based on overwhelming support from osteopathic medical students nationwide. The single accreditation system was developed by ACGME, AOA, and AACOM in order to standardize the accreditation across graduate medical education in the United States. The NOSC approved this resolution. The AOA reference committee combined this resolution with H-800, which was passed by the HOD.
Finally, H-812 was a resolution put forth by the American College of Osteopathic Family Physicians (ACOFP) in opposition to the single accreditation system. Members of the Student Association of the ACOFP spoke eloquently in support of their parent organization’s stance. Nevertheless, the student body as a whole remained in favor of the single accreditation system, and the NOSC rejected the resolution as did the HOD.
Brows glistening from their strenuous exertions, the combatants cheered as the barrister’s mighty hammer struck its final, resounding blow. To celebrate their achievement, the participants sallied forth into the Windy City to feast and revel through the night. As a result of the dedication of these heroes, osteopathic medical education is safe once again . . . for now.