Ray L. Morrison, D.O., FACOS Begins His Term as President

Ray L. Morrison, D.O., FACOS began his term as President of the American College of Osteopathic Surgeons on Friday, October 13, 2017. He spoke to the audience at the Ceremonial Conclave during the 2017 Annual Clinical Assembly in National Harbor to discuss the future of the profession and the importance of being involved with the College. 

"The Future is in Our Hands. Dr. Blickensderfer, Board of Governors, distinguished colleagues, new fellows, new members, and welcomed guests.  I am humbled by the opportunity and charge to lead this college into the future.  I can only do so out of the significant contributions from our previous leadership.  It has been said, “I can see so much further because I stand on the shoulders of those who have come before me”. There is certainly much to see ahead.

Ch…Ch…changes, Turn and face the Strange” to quote the 1972 David Bowie song. Many things are changing and not in the near future, but NOW.  Medicine is curiously becoming unstable as practices such as pain being measured as the 5th vital sign by mandate, now has physicians being blamed for the current increase in opioid deaths.  Graduate Medical Education is in the precarious imbalance of having 10,000 resident candidates MORE than residency positions.  The increased threat of scope of practice changes that can allow mid-level providers to be given independent practice rights with coterminous duties. The rumors of a potential “merger” of the DO /MD professions that could lead to the possible loss of our greater than 100-year-old profession.  (I still believe we can avoid that scenario)

Where will the future lead? Who can know it, who can change it, and in reality who can adapt to it? As the future unfolds, we have predictions that will either allow us to move forward OR fall behind depending on our response.  There are those in the profession who may view the uncoupling of required membership in the AOA for certification as a coffin nail to the specialty organizations. However, I see this as a new market opportunity for a stronger membership in the college as those with kindred surgical spirits, who had chosen not to claim their AOA membership, can now return to the solidarity, and the comradery of a unified Osteopathic Surgical College.  

Osteopathic residents graduating from a single accredited pathway program now will have an open invitation to join our organization without the requirements of additional required memberships.  However, there is now, and always will be the option for belonging to the AOA as additional benefits may certainly be offered. Lines of communication and transparency will play forward to strengthen both of our organizations.

With the continuing, and expected, addition of new membership it is easy to understand that the ACOS is well supplied with many of the brightest surgical minds in surgical practice today. The quality of Osteopathic surgeons and our depth of experience and numbers as surgical educators and speakers which now exist throughout this organization, the benefits of peer education are readily apparent.  Our own membership has a wealth of expertise, which is clearly identified and the education can be customized to the needs and wants of the ACOS. Continuing education should not present a difficulty in supplying the need for content experts, and presenters at our conferences.  Certainly an added benefit includes the ability for our young physicians in practice to gain points towards their fellow recognition as lecturers.

Looking to the future leadership of this college, those who would want to be considered for roles in the future will now have a vehicle to be trained and mentored through a new emerging leaders program beginning this year.  Training conferences, skill set identification, and utilization of a younger generation of capable surgeons is now in the logistical phase for active implementation.

We will endeavor to remain true to our Osteopathic roots and continue our tenants of Osteopathic surgery.  The future we can mold by OUR hands absolutely depends on each member here tonight.  I wish to mention a few of the points from our new  “I’m In … Are You?”  campaign that I hope I can count on you to wholeheartedly support.
•    I’m In.vested in the College’s mission to provide excellence in Osteopathic surgical care.
•    I’m In.spired by the Osteopathic philosophy and the tenets on which this profession was founded, to provide compassionate quality care to patients.
•    I’m In.sisting that we embrace Osteopathic principles and continue to build our professional home for the Osteopathic surgeon.
•    I’m In.volved in the efforts of the College to provide education, networking, advocacy, mentorship, and leadership development opportunities to its members.
•    I’m In.corporating students, residents and practicing physicians of all specialties and medical degrees to promote health, and advance the practice and science of Osteopathic medicine.
•    I’m In.viting you to join us.
•    “I’m In! Are you?” The future truly is in our hands.

In closing, I would not be able to be so involved with a profession I dearly respect and desperately strive to see succeed without the amazing support of my best friend, my confidant, and love of my life … my beautiful wife, Pam."