By Edward E. Packer, DO, FAAP, FACOP
Edward E. Packer, DO, FAAP, FACOP
As a professional college, we should be congratulating ourselves right now. Our membership is strong, our finances are secure, our participation from the expanding number of student organizations continues to grow and active participation from our core membership in ACOP committees is inspiring. We had excellent attendance for our current joint ACOP/AAP-SOOPe conference with a dynamic list of presentations, hands-on workshops and poster presentations from colleges and residencies around the country. The voice of our college continues to impact important national positions with our successful resolution at the AOA House of Delegates to offer ACCME credits at our conferences, the success in having CHIP refunded with statements from us and the AAP, and campaigns to promote healthy diet, breast feeding and childhood immunizations.
With all of our success, many important challenges confront the future of our college and our profession as osteopathic pediatricians. Single accreditation for postgraduate residencies has opened the doors of expanded opportunities to many programs for our graduates, but it has created serious challenges for our professional college. Many of these programs have had limited exposure to the osteopathic profession and most do not have faculty members that belong to the ACOP. An important step to develop a relationship between these training programs and the ACOP is for programs to become credentialed with osteopathic recognition by the ACGME. Our GME Committee has established a support process to help programs pursue the osteopathic recognition status with online resources and consultants that can speak directly to program directors. Currently, two programs (Ohio & Oklahoma) have succeeded in attaining this recognition, but we need to help many programs move forward with developing osteopathic recognition and training for pediatric residents.
Our certifying board (AOBP) faces challenges in convincing DO residents that have completed an ACGME residency to choose to take the osteopathic board. These residents have the option of taking the ABP, the AOBP or both boards. The AOBP needs to establish an identifiable benefit for residents to take their examination. With our support, the AOBP is working to add to the certification that it will credential physicians in both general pediatrics and pediatric osteopathic manipulative medicine. Individuals with this certification will be required to show CME in both pediatrics as well as osteopathic procedures. Our college and the AAO are working to develop these workshops. This will help to demonstrate a value-added reason to belong to the ACOP and help to sustain the use of osteopathic practices by DOs working with children.
We do face many challenges, but I do believe that the opportunities are great and our College has a bright future!