This year’s observance of National Osteopathic Medicine (NOM) Week, taking place April 18–24, 2021, will highlight the proud heritage of osteopathic medicine, celebrating the momentous contributions of DOs past, present and future. Join us as we recount some of the most notable moments in ACOFP history over the course of the week. In today’s edition, we will focus on leadership milestones in osteopathic family medicine.


  • On February 11, eight osteopathic physicians from California found the American College of General Practitioners in Osteopathic Medicine and Surgery (ACGPOMS) and are named to its inaugural Board of Directors. In addition to the eight officers, four “at large” members are added to the Board, for a total of 12. Incorporated in Los Angeles County, California, ACGPOMS names Wesley Barrett, Jr., DO, as president of the organization and one of its original board members.


  • ACGPOMS is now referred to in the profession as the American College of General Practitioners (ACGP).


  • AOA formally recognizes hospital departments of general practice, paving the way for potential general practice residencies.


  • ACGP names Alfred Schramm, DO, as the organization’s first executive secretary (executive director) and the only DO to serve in this position to date.
  • The ACGP Congress of Delegates is established by ACGP’s Committee on Bylaws, including Chairman J. R. Forbes, DO; Lester Nowlin, DO; and ACGP’s newly appointed Executive Secretary Albert Schramm, DO. Charles Sauter, DO, FACGP, serves as the first speaker of ACGP’s Congress of Delegates, held during their first meeting.


  • ACGP moves its operations from California to Chicago, Illinois.


  • In September, the Inaugural Conclave of Fellows induction ceremony is held with the induction of its first 24 ACGP Fellows. J. Myron Auld, DO, FACGP, is elected as the Conclave’s first president.


  • Mary McClellan Burnett, DO, FACGP, is inaugurated as ACGP’s first female president.
  • The American Osteopathic Board of General Practitioners (AOBGP) is established as the certifying board for osteopathic general practitioners and elects Mancil Fish, DO, FACGP, as its first chairman.


  • Mary McClellan Burnett, DO, FACGP, serves as the first chair of the ACGP Education & Research Foundation. ACGP’s Foundation is created to promote osteopathic family physician leadership, improve public health and advocate for greater awareness of osteopathic family medicine principles and practices.


  • On October 9, the groundbreaking ceremony takes place for ACGP’s permanent building in the northwest suburbs of Chicago at 330 East Algonquin Road in Arlington Heights, Illinois.


  • The Auxiliary to the ACGP is launched by spouses and significant others of osteopathic physicians, with a mission to support those starting their careers in family medicine through scholarships, awards, leadership development and family networking and social opportunities.


  • During a meeting in Washington, D.C., Margaret Thomas becomes the first president of the Auxiliary to the ACGP, leading the initial Auxiliary of 91 total members.


  • ACGP officially votes to change the name of the organization to the American College of Osteopathic Family Physicians (ACOFP) during its Congress of Delegates meeting in Orlando, Florida. The Foundation becomes the ACOFP Education & Research Foundation.


  • ACOFP awards its first class of Distinguished Fellows. Two ACOFP past presidents are honored with the inaugural award and are the first to walk across the stage: Mary McClellan Burnett, DO, FACOFP dist., and John Sevastos, DO, FACOFP dist.


  • ACOFP premiers the Future Leaders Program designed for outstanding new physicians and residents interested in honing their leadership skills and style to enhance their professional performance. In Spring 2009, 15 ACOFP members participate in the first Future Leaders Conference held in New Orleans, Louisiana.


  • In March, Elizabeth Palmarozzi, DO, FACOFP, is elected to serve as the first female speaker of the ACOFP Congress of Delegates.


  • In October, Nicole Heath Bixler, DO, MBA, FACOFP, becomes the youngest-serving ACOFP president and the first ACOFP president to have participated in ACOFP’s Future Leaders Program.

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For more on the complete history of ACOFP from 1950–2004, check out The Continuing History of the American College of Osteopathic Family Physicians.

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