Leader spotlight

Family physician and combat veteran to serve as AOA president-elect

Thomas Ely, DO, will become AOA president in July 2020.


The AOA’s incoming president-elect is Thomas Ely, DO, an AOA board-certified family physician and health care consultant.

Dr. Ely is a past president of the Tennessee Osteopathic Medical Association and a member of the American College of Osteopathic Family Physicians. He served on Tennessee’s osteopathic medical licensing board for 9 years and has been on the AOA Board of Trustees for the past 13 years.

Before attending what is now the Kansas City (Missouri) University of Medicine and Biosciences College of Osteopathic Medicine, Dr. Ely served as a commissioned officer in the U.S. Army Medical Service Corps, which included two combat tours in Vietnam as a medical evacuation (“Dustoff”) pilot.

After medical school, he re-entered the military as a commissioned officer in the U.S. Army Medical Corps and completed a family medicine internship and residency at DeWitt Army Community Hospital in Fort Belvoir, Virginia. He retired from the Army in 1988 as a lieutenant colonel.

After retiring from the Army, Dr. Ely was in private practice in Clarksville, Tennessee, and from 2002 to 2015 he served as the chief medical officer for the Gateway Medical Center in Clarksville, Tennessee.


  1. Peter A. Silkowski, D.O.

    Congratulations Tom! You are very well deserving of this great honor. The selection committee made an excellent choice. I am proud to have worked with you.

  2. Joe Barthel, D.O., FAAFP

    Hooah Tom! We’re in great hands with you at the helm! Agree with Pete, I too am proud and honored to have worked and served with you in the Army! Wishing you continued success and happiness!

Leave a comment Please see our comment policy