Founders' Day 2021February 15, 2021
Carol L. Henwood, DO ’83, RES ’85, FACOFP dist.
O. J. Snyder Memorial Medal Recipient
By David McKay Wilson
Carol L. Henwood, DO ’83, RES ’85, FACOFP dist., a board-certified family practice
physician who has worked in the Philadelphia suburbs for more than three decades,
has forged such long-lasting relationships with her patients that she’s cared for
five generations of some families.
Her current caseload includes a 2-month-old infant and a centenarian who turned 103.
Dr. Henwood, the recipient of PCOM’s 2021 O. J. Snyder Memorial Medal, has had three
employers over those years, at practices within a 10-mile radius. She now works for
Main Line Health Family Medicine in Royersford, providing a wide variety of health
services—from chronic care to well visits and women’s health.
“It’s an honor and joy to take care of all these families,” she says. “You build relationships
with people, they trust what you have to say, they trust you with their lives. I feel
like I make a difference.”
Daily, Dr. Henwood holds true to the philosophy of Andrew Taylor Still, DO, the founder
of osteopathic medicine. “Physicians need to know the latest science, the latest guidelines
and novel treatments,” she says. “But they need to pair that methodical knowledge
with responsive empathy for patients who suffer over a clinical diagnosis or loss.
And then there’s osteopathic manual manipulation; physicians can be profoundly empowered
with healing hands.”
During this time of global pandemic, Dr. Henwood acknowledges that many patients have
become afraid, isolated and depressed. “I strive to give them solace and hope,” she
affirms. “You can say your cup is half-empty or half-full. I feel blessed that I have
a cup. I urge my patients, too, to find their cup.”
A stalwart of the osteopathic profession, Dr. Henwood is a distinguished fellow and
past president of the American College of Osteopathic Family Physicians and past president
and an advisor for the Pennsylvania Osteopathic Family Physicians Society. She also
served as the first female president of the PCOM Alumni Association; Dr. Henwood and
her family have been longtime philanthropists and volunteers on behalf of the College.
She holds membership positions within the American Osteopathic Association and the
Pennsylvania Osteopathic Medical Association. Dr. Henwood is a recognized expert on
the patient-centered medical home concept, and in 2012 was invited to address the
White House on the Affordable Care Act and patient engagement. And she is an avid
contributor to the medical literature.
Dr. Henwood’s leadership in the field was inspired by the late Michael F. Avallone,
Sr., DO ’59, a prominent primary care physician and a role model for the osteopathic
profession, who urged her to make a difference on the local and national stage as
well as with medical students and residents whom she teaches and mentors.
“We have some of the best and brightest in the profession, but if the profession is
not changing to meet the challenges of new ideas, it’s not going to succeed,” she
says. “I think it’s important to give back.”
The consequences from the merger of allopathic and osteopathic residency programs
have engaged Dr. Henwood in recent years as she helps address the financial hurdles
confronting newly minted DOs seeking board certification in family practice.
Some hospital systems will only pay for one board test, and some have determined that
they will only pay for their residents to take the American Board of Medical Specialists
exam. That decision leaves osteopathic family medicine residency graduates with an
added financial burden if they want to seek osteopathic board certification.
“We see this as a barrier and a threat to our profession,” Dr. Henwood explains.
Enter the American College of Osteopathic Family Physicians, where Dr. Henwood has
chaired a $2 million campaign through its foundation to provide grants to residents
who want to take the osteopathic family medicine certification boards. The foundation,
which has raised $1.2 million so far, gave out 101 grants in 2020 to support these
residents. The grants, of up to $1,500, cover the practical and written portions of
the test, as well as travel to the test site.
“It’s a way to preserve our profession,” says Dr. Henwood. “It’s one thing we can
do to have a direct impact on the future. The American public deserves to have DOs
as their family doctors—among other specialists.”
About Digest Magazine
Digest, the magazine for alumni and friends of Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine,
is published by the Office of Marketing and Communications. The magazine reports on
osteopathic and other professional trends of interest to alumni of the College’s Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine (DO) and graduate programs at PCOM, PCOM Georgia and PCOM South Georgia.