Many DOs can likely recall encounters where their osteopathic education was disparaged or discredited, whether inferred or just outright, says David J. Park, DO, vice president and dean of the Southern Utah Campus of Rocky Vista University College of Osteopathic Medicine (RVUCOM-SU).
“This should no longer be acceptable,” he says. “No osteopathic physician or student should ever be discriminated against or harassed based on our medical education. Health care is a team endeavor and it must embrace diversity, equity and inclusion at every level and for every stakeholder.”
On Sept. 12, the Utah Medical Association’s (UMA) House of Delegates passed a resolution that says the association opposes any form of discrimination against osteopathic physicians and medical students.
Authored by Dr. Park, the resolution, which cites the single graduate medical education accreditation system and the equal practice rights and hospital privileges granted to DOs and MDs in Utah, states that:
- The UMA “denounces discriminatory acts or behavior against physicians or medical students solely based on osteopathic or allopathic training,” and
- The UMA will “adopt a non-discrimination position statement or policy that denounces discrimination, harassment, or retaliation against any physician or medical student based solely on their osteopathic or allopathic training.”
After many rounds of amendments and votes, the resolution passed 89% to 11% among 147 delegates.
“There were 9 student delegates from RVUCOM-SU, many of whom spoke during the house and made quite an impact,” Dr. Park said.
Dr. Park hopes the resolution will serve as a template osteopathic leaders in other states can use to advocate for similar resolutions in their state MD societies. A Word document version of the passed resolution is available here.