Unity must prevail
As an executive director in the osteopathic medical profession these past 25 years, I have observed many changes. Osteopathic medicine has survived them because of professional unity.
We can all be proud of our uniting together while facing the challenges of the past and present. Now we must move forward in a unified effort to meet the many new challenges that lie ahead.
“Take time now to determine what your role in organized osteopathic medicine will be.”
Over the years, the profession has rallied around the common cause of spreading the good news about osteopathic medicine and its distinctiveness. This spirit of unity has been challenged yet strengthened by the many issues we’ve needed to tackle just to survive: escalating medical liability insurance costs, ongoing struggles to receive fair payment for Medicare and Medicaid services, managed care’s influence on health care delivery, health system reform measures being forced on the profession, and so much more.
Throughout these challenging times, osteopathic medical associations have engaged in advocacy and promotional initiatives at the local, state and federal levels. In addition, our profession’s societies have helped individual members deal with Medicare and Medicaid audits, state licensure problems, FBI investigations, Office of Inspector General charges, and appearances before state boards of medicine and osteopathic medicine.
Given the uncertainties of the future, we need to be unified as a profession more than ever before. We need to support our fellow osteopathic physicians and refer patients to one another when it is feasible to do so. We need every DO to actively support local and state societies and the AOA. These organizations are here to represent you in the political arena, provide meaningful continuing medical education opportunities at a reasonable cost, and address the needs of the profession as they occur.
I encourage all osteopathic physicians to support and participate in the profession’s organizations. They provide opportunities for fellowship and networking with your professional peers and help keep the osteopathic spirit alive.
In the spirit of osteopathic unity, I urge each of you to step up and meet new challenges with great pride in the profession you have chosen for your lifetime career. Take time now to determine what your role in organized osteopathic medicine will be. Together we can build a support system that will benefit your medical practice and the patients in your care.
We must all join together to make the osteopathic medical profession the best it can be.
Kenneth E. Webster, EdD
Dr. Webster is the executive director of the Pinellas County (Fla.) Osteopathic Medical Society.
The opinions expressed in “Letters to the Editor” are those of the authors and do not reflect the viewpoints of the editors or the official policy of the AOA.