John W. Becher, DO ’70, stressed the need for students to be advocates for the profession.
John W. Becher, DO ’70, chair, emergency medicine, lectures PCOM’s DO students regularly on the principles and practice of emergency medicine, but at a recent lunchtime lecture he wore a very different hat—addressing the students as the president of the American Osteopathic Association (AOA).
Dr. Becher and AOA president-elect, Boyd R. Buser, DO, dean of the University of Pikeville-Kentucky College of Osteopathic Medicine, spoke to the students about the benefits of AOA representation, the organization’s new campaign to raise awareness of the profession, and the state of the profession in general.
“There are 123,000 practicing DOs and osteopathic medical students in this country, and that number is growing,” said Dr. Becher. “You are helping to make our profession younger and more diverse.”
He also stressed the need for students to be advocates for the profession, amongst their family, friends and even legislators. “It can be a two-minute conversation with your friends or a family member,” he said. “Get to know your legislators, and become a resource for them in healthcare. The future of osteopathic medicine is in your hands, we need you to spread the word and educate others about what we do.”
Dr. Buser then spoke briefly about the status of the transition to a single accreditation system for graduate medical education in the U.S. He noted that, thanks to a special, osteopathic recognition committee under the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education, the osteopathic philosophy could flourish under the new system, as any program can apply for osteopathic status if it fulfills certain requirements laid out by the committee.
“The first cohort of these programs recently received their osteopathic recognition, and that is important because these programs made the choice to apply for that special status,” said Dr. Buser. “That shows that they are clearly seeking access to candidates like you—DO students.”
Founded in 1899, Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine has trained thousands of highly competent, caring physicians, health practitioners and behavioral scientists who practice a “whole person” approach to care—treating people, not just symptoms. PCOM offers doctorate degrees in educational psychology, osteopathic medicine, pharmacy, physical therapy and psychology, and graduate degrees in aging and long-term care administration, biomedical sciences, forensic medicine, mental health counseling, organizational development and leadership, physician assistant studies and school psychology. Our students learn the importance of health promotion, research, education and service to the community. Through its community-based Healthcare Centers, PCOM provides care to medically underserved populations in inner-city and rural locations. For more information, visit pcom.edu.
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