Preserving the Past

Win up to $2500 through History Essay Competition

Contest encourages students, interns and residents to focus on current issues while acknowledging the proud history of the profession.


Osteopathic medical students, interns and residents have a chance to win up to $2,500 in this year’s AOA History Essay Competition. Although the competition has been around for a decade, the topics for this year’s completion have been refreshed, focusing on current issues relevant to osteopathic medicine and health care in light of the profession’s history. In addition, participants may now submit multimedia content, such as videos and artwork, in addition to essays.

All submissions should reference the past struggles, dilemmas, or successes the osteopathic medical profession has faced and citations to source materials must be provided.

The AOA typically awards up to 3 winners: a $2,500 first prize, a $1,000 second prize, and a $500 third prize. The submission deadline for the competition is Friday, July 24.

Participants are asked to select one of the following topics:

  • Osteopathic physicians use a patient-centered, health-oriented approach to enhance natural healing capabilities in their patients. Historically, this approach has shown great benefit, as in the case of the influenza pandemic of 1918-1919. Considering past examples, how would the application of osteopathic principles and practice be demonstrated in the comprehensive management of patients with Ebola virus, AIDS, obesity, diabetes, heart disease, or another current pandemic?
  • The osteopathic medical profession has grown in size and stature in its first century, and has kept its own distinctiveness. How can the profession learn from its past and ensure that the distinctiveness of osteopathic medicine is maintained in its second century, particularly in light of the agreement for a single graduate medical education accreditation system?
  • There have been many leaders in the osteopathic medical profession. Select one or more from the past, and, using examples of their wisdom and talent, demonstrate how the current profession can learn from him or her, or them, and their past decisions and diplomacy. Apply the wisdom from the past to provide insight into potential solutions to current day challenges facing the profession.
  • Visit to learn more about the competition and submit an entry.

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