Scholarly activity

How the JAOA can help osteopathic medical students achieve their research goals

JAOA Editor-in-Chief Robert Orenstein, DO, urges growth of scholarly activity among members of the osteopathic profession.


Robert Orenstein, DO, the editor in chief of the Journal of the American Osteopathic Association (JAOA), is urging osteopathic medical schools to cultivate a culture of scholarly activity. When he addressed the AOA House of Delegates Friday, he noted that doing so would help students be better-equipped to compete for residences and fellowships.

Dr. Orenstein also discussed the challenges osteopathic researchers, educators, and scholarly clinicians face in meeting this requirement, and what the JAOA is doing to help.

Scholarly activity can include:

  • Discovery: Research publication and abstracts.
  • Integration: Adding to and summarizing literature.
  • Application: Developing evidence-based guidelines and quality standards.
  • Teaching: Disseminating evidence and lecturing.

“Schools, residencies, and state organizations must commit developing these skills,” Dr. Orenstein says. “The JAOA can help to achieve these goals.”

Engaging the profession

The JAOA is an outlet for the publication of original research, timely reviews, commentary, and instructive cases and images. In addition, the JAOA has:

  • Introduced the ENGAGE initiative to encourage and highlight research at colleges of osteopathic medicine.
  • Launched the SURF section for students, residents, and fellows.
  • Increased traffic to by over 30% from last year.
  • Reminding the audience that an unpublished manuscript or research project has little impact, Dr. Orenstein also noted that, due to the JAOA’s media reach, publication in the JAOA is often more impactful than publishing in a highly focused, low volume specialty journal.

    JAOA’s expanding media reach

    Articles published in the JAOA have been cited in numerous national and international media outlets, generating more than 850 media hits in 2016 so far. Scholarly activity published in the JAOA has been covered by, among other news outlets:

    • The Guardian.
    • The Huffington Post.
    • The Atlantic.
    • Vice News.

    The JAOA’s recent interview with one author garnered over 17,000 views on YouTube just within a week of publication.

    Looking ahead

    Dr. Orenstein also challenged members of the profession to “share and disseminate the evidence base for the osteopathic approach.” He offered help from the JAOA team, which is available to provide resources and feedback to aid in scholarly efforts.

    To further help facilitate scholarly activity, the JAOA also plans to develop a summer research fellowship for osteopathic medical students and start a new section called “Still Relevant” to feature historical articles.

    Looking to publish in the JAOA or have questions for editorial staff? Check out the current call for papers or email

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