Congress Highlights Need to Expand Osteopathic Research at NIH
AACOM achieved a pivotal victory as part of their multidimensional strategy to increase National Institutes of Health (NIH) funding for osteopathic medical schools. The fiscal year 2022 (FY22) omnibus spending bill acknowledges the benefit of osteopathic research and requires the NIH to report on the status of NIH funding for colleges of osteopathic medicine (COMs) and the representation of DOs on NIH national advisory councils and study sections. The report language serves notice to NIH that Congress is dissatisfied with the status quo and wants greater osteopathic medical funding and representation.
COMs are critically underfunded by the NIH, despite educating a quarter of US physicians. The congressional report language states that “increased access to research funding for the osteopathic profession will significantly bolster NIH's capacity to support robust recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic, address health disparities in rural and medically underserved populations, and advance research in primary care, prevention, and treatment.” Read complete report.
The appropriations language is a direct result of coordinated advocacy across the osteopathic community, including more than a hundred congressional meetings, dozens of COM support letters and persistent grassroots advocacy. AACOM thanked deans, students, faculty and all members of the osteopathic community for helping to achieve this success. While this achievement will not end the problem, it will hopefully put the profession on a pathway to future equality. AACOM will continue to lead on this important issue until there is parity in NIH research funding.
| Raise Your Voice to Stop DO Bias, Discrimination in GME
Join the OME community in urging Congress to ensure all residency programs are open to DO graduates. Medicare accounts for 71% of all graduate medical education (GME) funding. Yet, one-third of Medicare GME programs impose restrictive, costly and burdensome requirements on DO students applying to residency. The 2021 National Resident Matching Program survey revealed that no less than 9% of residency programs said they never interview DOs, and another 27% said they seldom do. Moreover, only 54% of residencies specifically accept the Comprehensive Osteopathic Medical Licensing Examination (COMLEX-USA). These statistics exacerbate workforce shortages and reinforce the need for systemic change. Congress must pass legislation that prohibits residency programs receiving federal GME funding from discriminating against DOs.
Applications Now Being Accepted for the
Application Deadline: May 15, 2022
AACOM's Osteopathic Health Policy Fellowship (OHPF) is a year-long experiential training program for osteopathic physicians and other associated health professionals to develop the skills they need to analyze, formulate and implement health policy on the local, state and national levels. Apply today to join a growing legacy of policy leaders. The program is open to practicing or teaching osteopathic physicians, as well as non-physician individuals with an established connection to the osteopathic profession. Graduates of the program have included college of osteopathic medicine faculty and administrators, physician assistants, state osteopathic associations, foundation directors and hospital administrators.
The selection process is highly competitive. Applicants are expected to have completed 5 or more years of post-graduate experience and must have a career-long interest in health policy. Please visit the AACOM OHPF web page for more information about the fellowship, application process, and frequently asked questions. For additional information, contact OHPPrograms@gmail.com.
The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) has issued a Special Emphasis Notice to receive health services research grant applications to advance the science of primary care. The agency will fund projects that develop, implement, and evaluate interventions and models of care, including those targeting the specific needs and challenges of disadvantaged populations and people living with multiple chronic conditions.
The National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH) invites the research community, clinicians, patient organizations, and other stakeholders to weigh in and advance whole person research by their RFI deadline of July 17, 2022. The purpose of this NCCIH Request for Information (RFI) is to solicit public comment on defining a set of key determinants of health that addresses all the elements of the whole person health model, i.e., factors that can influence health either positively or negatively, and that encompass the full continuum of biological, behavioral, social, and environmental domains. Read more...