ACOI - American College of Osteopathic Internists

American College of Osteopathic Internists

Resident News Winter 2015




For those planning to sit for the AOBIM internal medicine and subspecialty certifying examinations in 2015, take note that the application deadlines are approaching. The internal medicine examination deadline is February 1. The subspecialty certifying exams deadline is April 1. While the AOBIM accepts late applications until April 1 for internal medicine and May 1 for the subspecialties, a $200 late fee is imposed. No applications are accepted after the late application deadlines.

Application materials are available at the AOBIM's website, The Board requires that paper copies of the completed applications be submitted and post-marked by the deadline.

Also note that in order to sit for the 2015 examinations, all training must be completed by August 31. The internal medicine certifying examination will be offered on September 10, 2015 at test sites across the country. The subspecialty examinations will be administered on August 22 in suburban Chicago. For further information, visit



The ACOI will hold its next Chief Residents and Future Leaders education program May 1-3, 2015 in Scottsdale, AZ. Designed by the Council on Education and Evaluation, the program will be held in conjunction with the Annual Congress on Medical Education for Residency Trainers, which is attended by most internal medicine and subspecialty program directors.

The program is intended for residents who will be chiefs in 2015-16 and other residents and fellows interested in acquiring skills essential to leading health care teams. The agenda includes sessions that will be held jointly with the program directors on the proposed unified accreditation system and other topics, as well as breakout sessions on conflict resolution, the chief resident job description, social media and professionalism and leading the healthcare team, to name a few.

This program offers residents an opportunity to meet and interact with experienced program trainers and policymakers. It also meets the requirement for attendance at an ACOI education program that each resident must meet once during his or her training program. Registration information will be available soon at

Brian J. Donadio, FACOI

Brian J. Donadio, FACOI, is the Executive Director of the American College of Osteopathic Internists. He may be reached via email at



I have the privilege of having 3rd and 4th year medical students round with me in the hospital a few days a week. The topic of applying for residency often comes up and I will often hear the same, worrisome thing: “I would like to apply to ‘so and so’ residency, but they would never take me.”

I think this approach to the selection of a residency program is a mistake. The training that you receive as Osteopathic students makes you great candidates for any Internal Medicine program in the country. You are working/training with American-trained, board-certified physicians, caring for patients in the same type of systems that you will be working/learning in for the next three years. Also, you are using the same type of computer systems and experiencing patient care in some of the many great hospitals working with our Osteopathic schools.

Besides the great training that you get in the Osteopathic programs, you also need to remember that the resident selection process is very complex. Who knows how many “good” candidates also applied to your dream residency? Maybe the hospital you are looking to train at is not looking for perfect scores, but for the “right, caring and insightful physician.” The only residency position that you are guaranteed not to get into, is the one you do not apply to. You are a great candidate for any residency program. Do not go through the application process with any regrets. Apply to every program where you think you will be happy and will receive the type of training that you are looking for.     

Some things that will make your application more attractive:

  • Research, posters, presentations, of any kind
  • Great letters of recommendation
  • A great rotation at the hospital that you want to apply to (it does not have to be a rotation with  the residents you want to join; just do a great job, word gets around)
  • A great personal statement
  • A great interview

So, please, do yourself and the many residency programs in America a favor and apply to all of the programs that will make you happy to become a great Osteopathic physician.

Scott Girard, DO, FACOI

Scott Girard, DO, FACOI, is a hospitalist. He completed his internal medicine training at Geisinger Medical Center in Danville, PA in July, 2008, and now serves as a member of the ACOI Board of Directors. He may be reached at



As the year ended, while friends and family gathered over the holidays, I found myself reflecting on the past 12 months which have elapsed.  I asked myself, “Is there anything that I wish I would have done differently?” If you are anything like me as a physician in training, you may also reflect on the so-called “I wish I would haves” and the “I’m sure glad I dids” on a frequent, if not daily, basis. I would like to share with you an experience from this past year and the lesson learned from an “I’m sure glad I did.”

All hospitals experience certain similar patient populations. One such group is the “frequent flyers.” These are the countlessly admitted patients that never seem to leave the wards. Another cohort are the “difficult” patients. Regardless of how hard you try, these patients are always unsatisfied with their care and at times even unpleasant and mean. We are all surely familiar with the patient that meets criteria for both of the above-mentioned categories. Such patients become well known throughout the hospital.

Late one evening this past year, just prior to heading home, I was paged regarding a benign arrhythmia captured on MJ’s telemetry.  MJ was a well-known difficult and frequent flyer whom I have known throughout training (The initials MJ are not specific. I have chosen them at random). MJ and I have had many pleasant encounters. Yet, we also have had our share of disputes and trying interactions. Such disputes were always unprovoked and occurred regardless of how polite and/or accommodating I had been. I never knew what to expect before walking into his room. On this particular occurrence I made certain to go in with a good attitude.  I wasn’t going to end my night with a dispute. So after greeting MJ, rather than start with the usual medical discussion, I instead asked him how he had been recently and engaged in talk about the most recent computer game he was mastering. We eventually went over his current hospital admission and telemetry finding. We then said our respective goodbyes and I left with a smile on my face. It was only weeks later that I was told that MJ had suddenly passed away at home. Undoubtedly, his passing was a sad occurrence.  However, since hearing the news, I have often thought a lot about our last encounter. I have pondered the “what ifs” that could have played out.  What if I had entered his room with a poor attitude?  What if I had only treated him only as a patient and not also as the videogame-loving person that he was?  Perhaps our last encounter might not have been so pleasant. Thankfully, that was not what had occurred.  Instead, MJ helped me learn an invaluable lesson. That is, I never know which encounters will be the last with any particular patient. Since then I have forced myself to become more aware of my encounters with my patients.

I have been grateful for the lesson I learned from MJ.  Since that time, I have had several last interactions with patients. Fortunately, they have been pleasant and comforting interactions for the patients.  I believe this is most important during the critical and high-risk times of a patient’s hospitalization. Having a conversation unrelated to their illness or simply holding a patient’s hand can be comforting to the patient. Additionally, it is easier to sleep at night not having to worry about any “I wish I would haves.”

 As I think of MJ while reflecting back on 2014, I can gladly say my last interaction with him was an “I’m sure glad I did,” rather than an “I wish I would have.” So as 2015 begins, I hope you will all incorporate MJ’s lesson into your busy daily practice. I believe you will have a lot more “I’m sure glad I dids.” Happy New Year!

Chris Sciamanna, DO

Chris Sciamanna, DO, is the Resident Representative to the ACOI Board of Directors. He is first-year cardiology fellow at Botsford Hospital in Farmington Hills, MI. He may be reached via email at



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Hello, everyone. I hope all of you are having a great start to the New Year and looking forward to an exciting and fun academic year. We are halfway through another year of training and I am sure that everyone is as amazed as I am at how fast the time goes by.

Congratulations to everyone who took the AOBIM certification exam in September; one more hurdle out of the way.

The Annual ACOI Resident In-Service Examination will take place on March 6, 2014 at all osteopathic internal medicine training sites.  The intent of the examination is not to grade a resident, but to evaluate each resident’s knowledge base in comparison to the expectation at that level of training and relative to the national average. It also serves to assist us in identifying personal areas of strength and weakness. The in-service exam is an excellent opportunity for third-year residents to gauge their medical knowledge and to develop learning plans for areas of deficiency so they are prepared for taking the boards in September.

I have been fortunate enough to be your representative for last two years on ACOI’S Council on Education and Evaluation (CEE) and it has been such a wonderful learning experience. The CEE is a fantastic group of dedicated people who want to serve all of us trainees. They are very concerned with our future as residents and spend a great deal of time working on maximizing the educational opportunities for all of us. To all of the residents/fellows out there reading this, I urge you to become active in ACOI. Your participation is needed for it to continue to be an organization of excellence. 

Mandar Jagtap DO

ACOI Council on Education and Evaluation Resident Representative, Mandar Jagtap, DO, is a second-year cardiology fellow at Palmetto General Hospital in Palmetto, FL. He may be reached via email at


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The constitutionality of another provision of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) is set to be considered by the Supreme Court.  The Court announced that it will hear oral arguments in the case of King v. Burwell on March 4.   At issue is whether the ACA allows for the issuance of tax subsidies for plans purchased through federally-sponsored exchanges. 

The ACA includes a clause that provides that an individual’s tax credit is determined based on the cost of insurance purchased on an “Exchange established by the state.”  The Court’s interpretation and application of these words could result in the repeal of a key provision of the Act and effectively block tax subsidies in 37 states where the federal government runs the exchanges.  If the Court narrowly interprets the language contained in the ACA, millions of Americans will lose subsidies that help make health insurance more affordable for them.  In addition, the effects could possibly be felt across the health insurance market place due to a change in the composition of the insurance pool with healthier individuals opting not to maintain coverage. 

A ruling is expected later this year.  The ACOI will continue to monitor this situation closely.

Tim McNichol, JD

Timothy W. McNichol, JD, is the Deputy Executive Director of the ACOI and is responsible for the College's advocacy efforts. He may be reached via email at


The AOA implemented changes July 1, 2014 to the rules for seeking approval of advanced standing for previous training. Under the new guidelines, residents may petition the specialty college any time during the first residency year only for advanced standing credit in their current residency program for previous training taken in the same specialty or a different specialty in an approved osteopathic or ACGME training program. The request for credit must be made with the approval of the current program director.


Decisions on advanced standing must be made by the specialty college evaluating committee (SPEC) within 60 days of receipt and are the sole purview of the specialty college and may not be appealed. Procedures shall be defined by the specialty college. All advanced standing awards granted by SPECs must be reported within 15 days of action to the AOA for dissemination to the OPTI, trainee, program director and training institution DME. Residents must apply for advanced standing within nine months of the start of training.


The advanced standing requirements established by the ACOI Council on Education and Evaluation are located in Appendix A of the Basic Standards for Residency Training in Internal Medicine located here:


The ACOI staff and the Council on Education and Evaluation are important sources of information and assistance for osteopathic internal medicine residents and fellows. Two staff members are available on a daily basis to address questions and concerns. Christy Smith serves as postdoctoral training coordinator and can answer questions about general training requirements and specific individual training issues. Katie Allen is the ACOI certification liaison. Residents and other certification candidates are urged to contact her to clarify questions about completion of certification requirements.


ACOI policy is that all phone calls and e-mails are acknowledged and returned within 24 hours of receipt. Please take advantage of these resources available to you.

The ACOI recently introduced an app that provides access to newsletters, meeting materials, training documents and other vital information via smart phones and tablets. The ACOI app allows instant access to the basic standards guiding all specialties, annual report forms required to be completed each year by all residents and fellows, curriculum information and more.


The app is compatible with Apple, Android, Blackberry and Windows devices and is easy to download. Access it here and let us know what you think.


For more information, contact Ms. Susan B. Stacy (


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ACOI Contacts

Judith A. Lightfoot, DO

John B. Bulger, DO, MBA

Christopher Sciamanna, DO
Board of Directors Resident Representative

Brian J. Donadio, FACOI
Executive Director

Timothy W. McNichol, JD
Deputy Executive Director

Susan B. Stacy, FACOI
Director of Administration and Finance

Christina A. (Smith) Perando
Post-Doctoral Training Specialist

Katie Allen
Member Services Specialist/
Certification Liaison


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Council on Education and Evaulation

John B. Bulger, DO, Chairman

Robert A. Cain, DO, Vice Chairman

Gary L. Slick, DO (AOBIM)

Susan M. Enright, DO

Joanne Kaiser-Smith, DO

Robert T. Hasty, DO

Frederick A. Schaller, DO

Jill Patton, DO

Jo Ann Mitchell, DO

Mandar Jagtap, DO
Council Resident Representative