President's Message

Another successful Annual Clinical Assembly (ACA) has come and gone. The staff has unpacked the boxes, and is getting a brief respite before the day to day business of the College resumes. We had over 1,200 registrants in attendance, the largest classes of New Members and New Fellows in our history, and interesting weather for Phoenix in September! The JW Marriott Desert Ridge Resort and Spa staff is to be commended on all facets of their service and facilities. They set a standard for upcoming assemblies.

My tasks for this year will be to increase the exposure of the American College of Osteopathic Surgeons to like-minded organizations in order to partner together to further the aims of physicians in general, and the College in particular. I will be traveling around the country as the face of the College, networking with other physician groups. If there are particular questions or problems you would like to see the College work on please do not hesitate to contact me, our CEO Linda Ayers and her staff, or any member of the Board. We are here to serve you and we want to know how best to facilitate that for you.

Our attention must now turn to ongoing forward progress with ACGME and the unified accreditation system. Helping the AOA understand the particular concerns of our program directors and existing residents and medical students will be the driving force for the next few months. Proper and timely completion of applications by program directors is of paramount importance. Much of what the ACGME requires is actually not as onerous as it appears on first blush. Many resources exist for program directors to access. Those program directors who have already completed the process should offer advice for those just starting. Surgeons who are part of residency training programs need to lend all available support to the program directors. Those members of the College who are not part of training programs are asked to step up and continue the work of the College with volunteer committee work. Residents, take your poster sessions and turn them into short articles for publication. The Journal of the American Osteopathic Association (JAOA) exists for this purpose. Discipline officers need to take at least a small amount of time from their busy schedules in order to support the educational program chairs for the upcoming ACAs in Washington, DC and Atlanta. Your Board of Governors will continue to move the College in the direction that members request. All of this needs to take place simultaneously; waiting for one group to finish their task before another group starts is a recipe for failure. If we all lift together we will be able to carry the load.

As I indicated in my inaugural address, this is a time of great change for all physicians in all facets of our profession. We need to be the engines of that change, not driven by it. Osteopathic physicians are especially vulnerable, but opportunity also exists. Work is required. Let’s get started.

"You never change things by fighting the existing reality. To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete." -R. Buckminster Fuller

Scott A. Blickensderfer, D.O., FACOS