House of Delegates

Now is ‘a time of incredible opportunity’ for DOs, says AOA CEO Adrienne White-Faines, MPA, FACHE

The osteopathic medical profession is gaining influence along with numbers, AOA CEO Adrienne White-Faines, MPA, FACHE, told the AOA House of Delegates Friday.


The osteopathic medical profession is growing like never before, as are the opportunities available to DOs and osteopathic medical students, noted AOA CEO Adrienne White-Faines, MPA, FACHE, when she addressed the AOA House of Delegates on Friday.

“I continue to be so inspired by how well-positioned we are at this time of incredible opportunity,” she said.

Strength in numbers

The profession now includes nearly 30,000 osteopathic medical students studying at 33 osteopathic medical schools in 48 different locations, and there are now more than 100,000 DOs.

As DOs have grown in number, they’ve also expanded their impact on the international stage and in health care policy arenas: Several DOs served as sports medicine physicians during the 2016 Rio Olympics, and 17 DOs recently secured Congressional and legislative appointments. As DOs serve in increasingly high-visibility leadership positions, desire for their involvement has also grown.

“Today our impact is exemplified through DOs in leadership positions, expanding our influence beyond the exam room,” White-Faines said. “The AOA is playing an important role in responding to the growing demands for osteopathic perspectives at the table through increasing numbers of successful nominations and appointments for legislative and regulatory think tanks and committees, media spokesperson opportunities, partnerships and coalition representation.”

Raising DOs’ visibility

Raising public awareness and visibility of DOs has been a cornerstone of the AOA’s strategic plan, and the AOA’s brand campaign, which launched in 2015, garnered more than 695 million impressions over 18 months.

“Our brand campaign continues to draw interest in the profession and affirm the type of health care that people prefer and embrace,” White-Faines said.

Another key component of the AOA’s strategic plan has been to increase the impact of osteopathic medical research. By awarding $1.1 million in grants to fund osteopathically focused research two years in a row, the association is on the way to achieving that goal.

Exactly 125 years after the first osteopathic medical school opened in Missouri, today’s osteopathic medical profession is joining together to chart its pathway to the future. The radical innovation DOs are engaging in today will ensure the profession continues to excel for years to come, said White-Faines.

“Without question, we are embracing a new world of opportunities and our development will continue to be strategic, innovative and intentional,” White-Faines noted.

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