Medical education

Med students will soon be able to serve on COCA, the entity that accredits DO schools

The forthcoming student representatives will fully participate in all aspects of COCA and have voting authority.

The AOA Board of Trustees has approved the addition of two student members to the Commission on Osteopathic College Accreditation (COCA), the entity responsible for accrediting colleges of osteopathic medicine. The student members will fully participate in all aspects of COCA and have voting authority.

Final nominating procedures are still under development, but the resolution calls for one student member to be nominated by the Student Osteopathic Medical Association (SOMA) and one to be nominated by the Council of Osteopathic Student Government Presidents (COSGP).

Serving future physicians

“Students are directly affected by the actions of COCA, and including their perspectives in the decision-making process is essential to ensuring this entity serves the needs of our future physicians,” said AOA President Ronald Burns, DO. “We are pleased to formalize student participation on COCA so their valuable input continues.”

COCA is responsible for setting and maintaining accreditation standards for colleges of osteopathic medicine.

Two-year terms

Student members will be appointed to COCA for two-year staggered terms. The initial SOMA nominee will serve a full two-year term; the initial COSGP nominee will serve one year, and the second and subsequent COSGP nominees will serve full two-year terms.

Nominations will be sought in March as part of the annual appointment process for AOA bureaus, councils, and committees.

Final nominations will be submitted by the AOA president and approved by the Board of Trustees at its July meeting.

Additional details on eligibility and the nomination process will follow in the spring.

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  1. Virginia A. Syperda, D.O., MBA, Ed.D

    I have great faith in the wisdom of students with regard to their education. Of course they should have a say in the decision-making processes of COCA. It can only serve to our advantage. Students not only have progressive ideas but need to be empowered to implement them by voting. Thanks to the AOA (Dr. Burns) and the COCA Board for this decision.

  2. Dr. H

    I think students should be appointed to the board in the same way as any other board member.

    Requiring nomination through student medical bodies seems unnecessary, unless you plan on requiring all board members to submit to this process.

  3. Harris Ahmed, MPH, OMS IV

    Great. Lets stop rapid school expansion, reduce class sizes, increase minimum faculty requirements so there is no shortage of preceptors, mandate more GME creation, more research emphasis, more inpatient experiences. We must act now to protect our students.

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