Dear Osteopathic Medical Family and Friends:
We would like to thank the osteopathic medical community and those across the entire house of medicine who have reached out to us with their thoughts, feedback, and concerns this past week—we appreciate your insights.
In particular, leaders from the governing boards of the American Osteopathic Association, the American Association of Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine, and the American Association of Osteopathic Examiners, as well as others, have been very responsive and engaged in the process.
The pandemic has presented us all with unprecedented challenges, but also a unique opportunity to further reimagine how we ensure the continued high quality of care for our patients and the success of the DO profession through the very necessary evaluation of students, residents, and physicians who serve as stewards of osteopathic medicine and its philosophy.
Education, training, accreditation, licensure, and continuous professional development are interrelated in our goal of protecting the public and providing our patients with the highest levels of care.
We know that all members of the osteopathic medical profession, including DO students, recognize the importance of keeping the patient front and center in all that we do.
To that end, we must assure that our osteopathically distinctive licensure assessment pathways—in whatever form they take—in no way compromise:
- patient safety and high quality patient care through assessment of fundamental competencies integral to osteopathic medicine,
- the patient-centered approach to care, integral to what patients expect from DOs,
- the ability of DO students to graduate, and efficiently progress into and complete residency training, and
- the ability of DOs to earn the privilege of licensure wherever they choose to practice.
We believe we can DO all four.
Next week, the NBOME Board of Directors will continue reviewing an expedited, structured, and comprehensive process for formal stakeholder input on how we can further reimagine this course.
This will require a defined but expedited period of time on our part to consider thoroughly, comprehensively, and carefully, all of the aspects associated with changes to assessment for licensure.
The NBOME Board does not act unilaterally in major decisions that involve many others and which might yield unintended consequences. We have already held meetings with many organizational leaders including those across osteopathic medical education, osteopathic professional practice and self-regulation and accreditation and licensure communities.
We have engaged AOA and AACOM to provide timely information to all our stakeholders as we gather insights to our work in progress. In addition, we will pursue active contributions from a number of student organizations, including SOMA and COSGP, and the AOA’s Bureau of Emerging Leaders, to provide further opportunities for valuable input from students and residents.
We are asking for your patience to work through what is a complicated process, ensuring we can fairly consider all of the factors required to make the most informed decision possible—one that has great potential to benefit learners, the educational programs, our profession and most importantly, our patients.
As we move forward, we are committed to being transparent as we consider not only all options and outcomes, but also protecting the integrity of the process along the way to assure the best possible solution. Each Thursday, we plan to share weekly public updates on our website.
With next Thursday’s update, we will provide a timeline and method for all interested parties—both organizations and individuals—to share their thoughts, ideas and concerns with us. This will ensure that your valuable and professional feedback is shared directly with those of us who are committed to finding the best path forward. Please continue to check our website for updates.
Thank you for your trust as we navigate this journey together.
John R. Gimpel, DO, Med, President & CEO on behalf of the Board of Directors, Staff, and National Faculty