President speaks out

AOA President Mark A. Baker, DO, responds to Larry Nassar case

The Jan. 27, 2018, letter to the profession from Dr. Baker.

Editor’s note: This letter was sent to AOA members and affiliates on Saturday, Jan. 27, 2018.

Like many of you, I have watched in horror as more than a hundred women and girls bravely shared their stories of abuse at the hands of Larry Nassar. As a proud DO, I’m furious that a convicted pedophile hid behind his medical license to justify his crimes and chose to use one of the tools that osteopathic physicians are trained to provide, OMT, as a defense.

Today, this false narrative has been repeated in a vile op/ed in the Los Angeles Times. The AOA has reached out to the editor to demand changes to this cheap, defamatory article. We are responding to this situation as we have to every attack on the integrity of our profession.

I know that some members are frustrated that the AOA has not publically condemned Nassar. It’s important to understand that the organization cannot comment on any criminal case or lawsuit.

Instead, the AOA worked behind the scenes to educate journalists that the allegations against Nassar are by no means acceptable medical practice by any physician, DO or MD.

Since this news broke in September 2016, AOA has responded to hundreds of media inquiries in an effort to prevent this case from becoming a referendum on osteopathic medicine, as Nassar’s attorney originally implied. We made it clear that the AOA would not in any way legitimize his actions.

The concept of medically accepted treatment is likely to come into play again during the multiple civil suits targeting Nassar and others alleged to have overlooked his crimes. The AOA will continue to help media understand, when necessary, the principles and practices of osteopathic medicine but will not inappropriately insert itself into the news or make DOs the focus of any coverage.

Make no mistake: Larry Nassar is a convicted molester who used his medical license to justify his crimes. We are all angry and looking to prevent future molesters from exploiting patients, the practice of medicine and our profession.

Mark A. Baker, DO

AOA President

2 comments

  1. Thank you Dr Baker. I is difficult the insult Nassar did to his/our professional let alone to the lives of those women and children. As a respectable Sports Medicine Physician for over fifty years my path crossed Nassar at MSU conferences. I had no idea as did many, that he was an abuser of his charges. Nor did many around him. MSU has been shaken by his misdeeds.

  2. Virginia Heffernan (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Virginia_Heffernan) is a real journalist and wrote an article that Dr. Larry Nassar was not a doctor.
    This kind of Misrepresentation reflects the degree of bias and Fake News of the mainstream media. We should take a stand to condemn this deliberate misrepresentation of DO profession which has much contributed to the healthcare of the people.

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