By Paul A. Martin, DO, FACOFP dist.
President, ACOFP Education & Research Foundation

When preparing this message, I wanted to share the one thing that, in my opinion, makes ACOFP unique from all other organizations with which I am involved. It didn’t take long for me to settle on one word: family.

Over the past 42 years, I have chaired committees, spoken at numerous ACOFP Annual Convention sessions, mentored dozens of students and residents, and even served as ACOFP President in 2012–2013. This past month, I was appointed as president of the ACOFP Education & Research Foundation.

Osteopathic family medicine runs in my DNA, so much so that my daughter is also a practicing osteopathic family physician (hi, Alicia!). I share my involvement with the organization not to pat myself on the back, rather to give thanks to my ACOFP family members who have motivated and encouraged me to give back to our profession throughout my career.

It is that family-like commitment that keeps both the ACOFP and the Foundation striving to provide the greatest value to ACOFP members and other stakeholders of osteopathic family medicine. As Foundation president, I’m committed to advancing our profession through our triple aim goal of better health, better care, at a lower cost. When considering this triple aim goal, there are two Foundation-funded programs that are paramount to the prosperity and longevity of our profession: The Future Leaders Conference and the Initial Certification Grant program.

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The Future Leaders Conference counts nearly 250 participants in its 11-year history. Many alumni have risen to prominent positions within our organization, including current ACOFP President-Elect Nicole Bixler, DO, MS, FACOFP, who was a member of the inaugural class in 2009. This program provides training to residents and early-career physicians that enable them to utilize their unique leadership styles to positively impact their professional performance. Nine out of 10 alumni consider their participation in the Future Leaders Conference as “extremely valuable” in advancing their careers.

While the Future Leaders Conference has a storied history of success, the other priority program of the Foundation was recently launched in 2019. The Initial Certification Grant program offers third-year residents up to $1,400 for American Osteopathic Board of Family Physician (AOBFP) initial certification exam fees ($900) and travel reimbursement ($500).

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As osteopathic family physicians, we understand the importance of board certification and, more importantly, the tremendous value that certification in osteopathic family medicine with OMT provides. To ensure our osteopathic distinctiveness, we must afford residents the much-needed financial resources to become certified by AOBFP. The Foundation’s Forging Our Osteopathic Future Campaign is an ambitious fundraising effort to garner these vital resources.

Two Programs, One Goal

With one established program and one program in its relative infancy, the Foundation is making a concerted effort to attract, train and develop the next generation of osteopathic leaders. These essential programs will advance the osteopathic family medicine profession through education and research and have a far-reaching impact throughout the career spectrum.

As president of the ACOFP Education & Research Foundation, I’m committed to ensuring our osteopathic distinctiveness and that the family of ACOFP members feel the same.

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