AOA - AACOM Collaboration
on the Future of Osteopathic Medical Education

Blue Ribbon Commission

Visit for the latest information about the commission's report, including a summary report, FAQs, press releases and other details.

The Blue Ribbon Commission for the Advancement of Osteopathic Medical Education

The U.S. health care system — already challenged to address the issues of access, consistent quality of care, equity and costs — is facing a perfect storm in coming decades.  Rapid growth in America’s senior population, the chronic disease epidemic, inadequate numbers of physicians (especially in primary care), and the likelihood of a significant cutback in financial resources are escalating problems within the health care arena.  

This gathering storm requires us to engage in new thinking about health care delivery and the education of physicians. Recognizing this, the American Association of Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine (AACOM) and the American Osteopathic Association  (AOA) believe that, now more than ever, it is time for the osteopathic medical profession to assess the strengths and resources it brings to addressing the nation’s health care needs through our distinctive educational approach.

Consequently, the AOA and AACOM established an independent comission-- Blue Ribbon Commission for the Advancement of Osteopathic Medicine (BRC)-- to identify unique opportunities for the osteopathic profession to offer leadership in medical education so as to improve the health of the U.S. population in the 21st century.

After two years of work, the BRC has developed an innovative proposal to move toward an educational system that responds to the medical resource pressures facing society.  The new model is based on patient-centered care that will encompass population health as a means of improving the overall quality and efficiency of care.  Osteopathic physicians will be trained to deliver tech-savvy, team-based patient care and will be proficient in prevention, health care systems planning, and leadership.  The new model is built on a competency-based curriculum centered on the biomedical, behavioral, and clinical science foundations of osteopathic primary care medical practice.  As such, ensuring the competency of the graduate is paramount, whether it takes five years or eight years to complete the program.  The curriculum will consist of a continuous, longitudinal educational experience.  Clinical experiences would begin in the student's first year and would continue with increasing levels of responsibility throughout the educational experience.  The continuous educational experience will be jointly administered by the colleges of osteopathic medicine and their residency training partners.  Having a continuous process instead of seperate undergraduate and graduate systems should enhance the efficiency of the experience and reduce the time to completion for many students.  The model will focus on preparing tomorrow's osteopathic physicians in health care delivery science, including team leadership, analytic skills; health policy; health information technology; quality assurance; patient safety; and the principles of high-quality, high-value, outcomes-based health care environment.

Boyd R. Buser, DO
American Osteopathic Association
Marc B. Hahn, DO
BRC Co-Chair
American Association of Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine

 BRC Members Login        


Blue Ribbon Commision - Final Report