Updates in the DO profession

Orthopedic surgeon forms physician support network, AOA accepting nominations for advocacy awards

North Carolina orthopedic surgeon Ted Parcel, DO, recently founded the Physician Cancer Network after a diagnosis of stage IV colon cancer. The AOA is currently accepting nominations for the 2024 advocacy awards.

The osteopathic profession continues making strides thanks to the many wonderful DOs and osteopathic medical students who excel in their roles, including Ted Parcel, DO, who recently founded a nonprofit. Read about Dr. Parcel’s work below along with news about the AOA advocacy awards.

N.C.-area DO establishes Physician Cancer Network, offering resources and support for doctors diagnosed with cancer

After a 2022 diagnosis of stage IV colon cancer, orthopedic surgeon Ted Parcel, DO, founded a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization to help physicians who have cancer diagnoses connect with each other. The Physicians Cancer Network (PCN) was inspired by Dr. Parcel’s time shared with a fellow physician who had received the same diagnosis. Through his journey of chemotherapy, surgeries and hospitalizations, Dr. Parcel was able to share his thoughts, hopes and fears with his companion, who has sadly since passed away.

According to the PCN’s website, Dr. Parcel’s treatment process has included chemotherapy and multiple surgeries, leading to a “rough road” of side effects and complications.

“Early on, I had a slew of emotions, and the mental side [of treatment] was very hard to endure, often harder than the physical,” Dr. Parcel said. “I had family and friends to lean on, but something else was missing.”

That “something” was the precious relationship Dr. Parcel formed with a fellow physician who had received the same diagnosis. The pair quickly became close, forming their “own little support group.” These physicians were able to talk about everything together, from chemotherapy to work, and, of course, “just life in general.”

Tragically, Dr. Parcel’s friend has since passed away, leading him on the search for another support network. After having no luck, Dr. Parcel decided to create his own support network, leading to the creation of the PCN.

“After [my friend] passed, I wanted to do something to help other physicians with cancer to have a relationship like we had. It was an invaluable experience. […] Physicians tend to be a bit stubborn, but I can say this: Having another physician going through the same rough road can be wonderful for everyone,” Dr. Parcel said.

The PCN website offers resources for physicians diagnosed with cancer, including a listing of United States-based cancer treatment centers and care experiences at the treatment centers, a blog, physician-provided information on different types of cancers and a social media presence on X (formerly Twitter).

As the PCN is a new organization, Dr. Parcel is seeking donations to help cover the administrative and web hosting costs, as well as additional future needs. To learn more about the Physician Cancer Network or to contact Dr. Parcel, please email physicianscancernetwork@gmail.com.

AOA seeks nominations for 2024 advocacy awards

The AOA is currently accepting nominations for several awards designed to recognize excellence in public policy and professional advocacy on behalf of the osteopathic profession. Awards will be presented during the AOA’s DO Day 2024. The AOA’s success in advocacy would not have been possible without the dedicated support from our members and affiliates.

The award categories are as follows:

  • Individual Excellence in Advocacy Award
  • Organizational Excellence in Advocacy Award
  • Excellence in Media Award
  • Excellence in Journalism Award
  • Congressional Champion of Osteopathic Medicine Award

To learn more about the award categories and to nominate yourself or an individual or organization for one of the awards listed above, please complete the online submission form. All nominations must be submitted by 5 p.m. CT on Wednesday, Jan. 17, 2024.

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