Virtual gathering

General Session messages inform, inspire at OMED21 on Saturday

Olympic gold medalist Lisa Leslie, Dr. Meena Seshamani and the recognition of outstanding osteopathic physicians and students highlight Day 2 of OMED21.

Women’s basketball legend Lisa Leslie kicked off the second full day of OMED21 on Saturday by delivering a message of authenticity and pride in what makes each of us distinct to more than 4,500 attendees at the morning General Session.

“Our views of who we are can be different than the views we want others to see,” she said. “Sometimes, we like to send our representative because that’s easier than just being our authentic selves.”

Leslie not only accepted her gift of height and athleticism at an early age, but she challenged herself to be the best. “Somebody has to be the best. Why not me?” was her attitude. “Why can’t the daughter of a single mom from Compton, California, achieve what others might think impossible?”

Challenging herself

It turns out, Leslie was the best.

A four-time Olympic gold medalist and Naismith College Player of the Year, Leslie won two WNBA championships and appeared in eight WNBA All-Star games. She was named one of the Top 15 players in WNBA history. Leslie said her success can be attributed to working hard, challenging herself and being proud of who she was. This is an  attitude that osteopathic physicians can use in their practices and consider when working toward their career goals.

“You provide a whole patient approach in a field where it’s about the  body, mind and spirit, a field where you get to put the lab coat on and be proud to be a DO and what you bring to the health care industry,” she said. “Your distinctiveness is what makes you special.”

Health policy update

Leslie’s presentation was part of a General Session that also featured a health policy update from Meena Seshamani, MD, PhD, Deputy Administrator and Director of Center for Medicare,  and the announcement of several AOA annual awards. In this year’s ceremony, six  different sets of award recipients were recognized by AOA President Joseph A. Giaimo, DO, MACOI for advancing the profession through research in the Journal of Osteopathic Medicine. These recipients are a diverse group of academicians, osteopathic students and DOs.

An osteopathic physician and a College of Osteopathic Medicine were recognized for moving Diversity, Equity and Inclusion efforts forward. A story of selfless mentorship was included, and the AOA handed out awards to three of our affiliates that advanced the osteopathic profession by offering member benefits and innovative programs. See the full list here.

Saturday’s agenda included didactic CME sessions and education geared toward residents and students.

A Social Determinants of Health Track was highlighted by a late afternoon panel discussion with Jeffrey Grove, DO, Ron Holt, DO, Paula Neira, JD, MSN, and Noora Khiraoui, OMS II. That session explored LGBTQIA+ Equity and Inclusion in Healthcare.

The busiest day of OMED21 with nearly 120 events and sessions, Saturday also included a Virtual Exhibit Hall,  an OPAC event and SOMA Foundation Fall Awards.

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