BCOM Student Jessica Jacob

Students and faculty from the Burrell College of Osteopathic Medicine traveled to Chicago in July to participate in a number of national conferences and meetings geared toward osteopathic physicians and students.

As the president and interim vice president of BCOM’s Student Government Association (SGA) respectively, Jessica Jacob and Antony Awad kicked off a full week in Chicago starting with the American Association of Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine’s (AACOM) Council of Osteopathic Student Government Presidents (COSGP) meeting where Jacob was named Most Valuable Person.

Awad said, “We discussed a variety of ideas and policies from our college with other schools from around the nation. We also met with our respective committees to develop a strategic leadership plan for this upcoming school year.”

During this time, the COSGP also hosted the 2017 National Osteopathic Student Caucus (NOSC). According to the COSGP website, “The NOSC is a once a year forum that allows all osteopathic medical students to voice their opinions on AOA House of Delegates resolutions that affect students, residents, and the osteopathic profession.”

BCOM student, Harris Ahmed, who serves on the national Board of Directors for the Student Osteopathic Medical Association (SOMA) and was also in town for their annual leadership conference, spoke at NOSC, arguing on the floor on behalf of a resolution that would promote residency positions for COCA medical school graduates. Three other BCOM students—John Rajala, Megan McCord, and Michael Davis—also represented SOMA at the event.

“This caucus allows student delegates to speak on behalf of all 27,000 osteopathic medical students. We debate the issues and come to a consensus that is agreed as the general opinion of all osteopathic students,” Jacob explained.

The NOSC was formed over 10 years ago, and is hosted with leaders from other osteopathic student organizations, like SOMA, the Student American Academy of Osteopathy, and the American Medical Student Association.

The BCOM students, Founding Dean George Mychaskiw II, DO, and Scott Cyrus, DO, also participated in the American Osteopathic Association’s (AOA) annual House of Delegates meeting held in Chicago at the same time. More than 500 osteopathic physicians and medical students gather at this event to create AOA policy.

At the meeting, the New Mexico Osteopathic Medical Association submitted two house resolutions. Resolution H637, which opposes the merging of state osteopathic licensing boards with state medical licensing boards, was adopted by the AOA Board of Trustees. Jacob advocated for another resolution, H231, on behalf of the state of New Mexico, and it was approved pending approval from the finance committee.

“It was encouraging to know our house resolution was accepted by the Board of Trustees and the AOA will continue to help us with the fight against merging of state licensing boards,” Dr. Cyrus said.

Not only did the BCOM attendees represent their school and the state of New Mexico at these national events, they also confirmed that BCOM is making a positive name for itself throughout the national medical community. Ahmed said, “I cannot count how many students approached me to tell me how they wanted to attend BCOM, how they wish they had, and how impressed they were with the progress and strides we’ve made in just one year.”