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Letter From Dr. Burke

Osteopathic Medicine is Distinctive

The ACOI defines Osteopathic Internal Medicine through our members’ interactions with patients day in and out. This distinction has been honed from medical school into post graduate medical education residencies and fellowships, and even further in our practices.  Though OMT is a part of osteopathic training, it is not the essence of our patient care. It is a contributor. Training in OMT has lent a distinctive tool that allows for more personal attention to the patient. The basic tenet in “laying of the hands” is a trust builder. While it is critical to our professional brethren, full service OMT practice is not included in the majority of practice.  OMT does not embody what makes our brand of Internal Medicine distinctive, but it is an important portion of the core. Identifying the place OMT holds in our distinctiveness is one of the most important exercises the ACOI is facing as we become a professional services organization.  Osteopathic internal medicine is distinctive, but not just OMT.

Doctor – Patient Relationship
The ACOI as a professional services organization is focusing our educational content on the doctor–patient relationship as a hallmark of our brand of Internal Medicine. The sanctity and power of our patient care and leadership relies on the patient’s trust fostered by a physician’s confidence and knowledge. One service that the ACOI is providing already is the type of educational content that instills advanced patient -focused medical education.  We are quickly building the online platform for this content. Among other activities, it will house our Osteopathic OCC medical knowledge self-assessment modules. These modules remain highly up to date and valuable as they meet the changing requirements for both osteopathic and allopathic continuous certification. Stay tuned as we work through the details of change and clarify our brand and distinctiveness further around the Doctor and the Patient.

Physician Wellness
Our profession’s wellness depends on our ability to provide high-quality patient outcomes and communication.  We already do provide high quality of care today, but will not be able to maintain our distinctiveness without supporting our physician community and their wellness. This is, of course, multifactorial. In fact, I was reading today that leaders have much more stress when they are no longer in control. In other words, leaders are less effective when they have no skin in the game.  There are ways to regain control of medicine, but it is going to take work, business acumen and organization. The ACOI is a great starting place to leverage the overhead of shifting to teach our Internists the value of official data collection and control. The EMR is not the answer it was thought it to be. Mainly because the people that set it up are not clinicians.  We will be convening our Physician Wellness Task Force next month to create some concrete initiatives that the ACOI can provide in order to get started and take back control of local patient care as it should be. Our distinction and its integration into patient care and local health systems is critical to our profession.  Please join me in thinking this through some more and share comments and ideas with me or staff. 
MEGA-CME 2018 in Chicago
This week, the ACOI will be descending on the Chicago Marriott on the Magnificent Mile for the Board Review Course, Hospital Medicine Challenges, New Cardiovascular Science and Residency Trainers Congress. These four distinct courses will provide our highest end educational content and speakers and has something for everyone.  Please make an effort to join us as part of the ACOI family.

As always, I welcome your comments.

Martin C. Burke, DO, FACOI