2023 ACOS-MSS Spring Conference Highlights
(Written by Student Doctor Olivia Panchal, Communications Chair, ACOS Medical Student Section)

On April 29th, over 200 ACOS-MSS members from across the country convened at Rocky Vista University College of Osteopathic Medicine in Parker, Colorado for the annual ACOS-MSS Spring Student Conference. Current ACOS President and student mentor, Dr. Kristen Conrad-Schnetz, gave the opening remarks. Throughout the weekend, students learned about diversity in surgery from Dr. Danielle Ward (Plastic Surgery PGY-3 at Larkin Community Hospital), plastic surgery and private practice from ACOS Board of Governors member Dr. Jamie Moenster, financial planning from Dr. Emmett McGuire (Trauma Surgeon at Swedish Medical Center), and the role of virtual reality in surgery from Dr. Anthony LaPorta (Colonel Retired USAMC and Professor of Surgery at RVUCOM). Additionally, Dr. Kayla Brown (General Surgery PGY-2 at St. David’s South Austin Medical Center) represented the ACOS Resident Section and taught students about matching into surgical specialties.

Students had the opportunity to develop a variety of surgical skills including FAST exam, Stop the Bleed training, suturing and knot-tying, and scrubbing in. Over 35 students presented research on various surgical topics:

Posters Presentation Award Winners

  • First Place: Matthew Boutelle – “Incorporation of Arthroscopy into Surgical Correction of Olecranon Fracture”
  • Second Place: Andrew Vogel – “Building Interest in Cardiothoracic Surgery at an Osteopathic Medical School: Preliminary Results of an Institutional Survey”
  • Third Place: Zeba Shaik – “A Case Report of Obstructing Stage IV Adenocarcinoma of the Transverse Colon in a Young Patient with Vitiligo”

Oral Presentation Award Winners

  • First Place: Kassidy Weber – “Socioeconomic Disparities in Access to Transplantation at a Single-Center"
  • Second Place: Connor English – “Novel pulsation patterns in the cerebrospinal fluid”
  • Third Place: Sarin Paluri – “Aggressive Heart Procurement Practices Do Not Result in Worse 1-Year and 3-Year Mortality Rates of Heart Transplant Recipients”

Five ACOS-MSS chapters were recognized for their outstanding commitment to community service and received monetary scholarships to fund future community service projects.

  • First Place: NSU-KPCOM – St. Baldrick’s 
  • Second Place: RVUCOM-CO – Extreme Community Makeover
  • Third Place: ATSU-KCOM – Winter Clothing Drive
  • Fourth Place: WVSOM – Blanket Tying Event
  • Fifth Place: UIWSOM – CHOSA Simulation Play Kits

OSU-COM received the Chapter Improvement Award. The following students received travel scholarships: Mary Emma Barham, Ashley Nichols, Charlie Marchese, Sierra Mills, Michael Ashton Perez, Denise Nemeth, Neil Orton, Allie Heineman, and Maureen McClellan. Nova Southeastern University (Fort Lauderdale and Tampa Bay) was selected to host the 2024 ACOS-MSS Spring Student Conference in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

Finally, ACOS-MSS elected their 2023-2024 National Executive Board: Chair – Samantha Santora (RVUCOM-CO), Vice Chair – Olivia Panchal (UNTHSC-TCOM), Secretary – Courtney Merwin (WVSOM), Treasurer – Richie Cannella (VCOM-VA), Research Chair – Kevin Seely (RVUCOM-UT), Conventions Chair – Jake Hanson (RVUCOM-CO), Communications Chair – Bebe Eke (PCOM-GA), and Technology Chair – Connor English (ATSU-KCOM).

The ACOS Medical Student Section would like to thank all of our distinguished speakers and Rocky Vista University College of Osteopathic Medicine (Colorado Campus) for hosting. Congratulations to ACOS-MSS on another successful student conference!


 Apply for your ACOS-MSS Chapter to host the 2024 Spring National ACOS-MSS conference! This is an excellent opportunity to get involved in ACOS-MSS, demonstrate leadership, and highlight your school. Submissions will be open February 23rd to April 1st, 2023. Any questions you have regarding hosting the spring conference can be directed to our National Conventions Coordinator, Sam Santora ([email protected]). Submit your applications using the link below.

Application Link: 2024 Spring ACOS-MSS Conference Host Application

ACOS Student Membership

ACOS Student Members may register for ACOS-MSS meetings at the reduced member rate. To apply for membership, submit an online membership application  with your $30 payment. Students enrolled in AOA-accredited colleges of osteopathic medicine who have an interest in the pursuit of surgical training may apply for ACOS Medical Student Section membership. Student membership offers medical students an opportunity to become more familiar with the surgical specialties and the American College of Osteopathic Surgeons (ACOS). Student membership expires upon graduation from an AOA-accredited college of osteopathic medicine.