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AOA Communication  |   April 2006
With Second Essay Competition, History Committee Offers More Incentives to Explore Profession`s Past
Article Information
AOA Communication   |   April 2006
With Second Essay Competition, History Committee Offers More Incentives to Explore Profession`s Past
The Journal of the American Osteopathic Association, April 2006, Vol. 106, 183-184. doi:10.7556/jaoa.2006.106.4.183
The Journal of the American Osteopathic Association, April 2006, Vol. 106, 183-184. doi:10.7556/jaoa.2006.106.4.183
To encourage osteopathic medical students, interns and residents to study their profession's past struggles and achievements, the AOA Committee on Osteopathic History and Identity is conducting its second annual history essay competition. 
Compared with last year's competition, which awarded a single $1,000 honorarium for the top entry, this year's competition will offer more and richer prizes. At its midyear meeting in late February, the AOA Board of Trustees authorized the Committee on Osteopathic History and Identity to award up to three honoraria: a $5,000 first prize, a $3,000 second prize and a $2,000 third prize. 
“While the members of the history committee were pleased with the number of participants in the first essay competition, the members would like to see even more students, interns and residents take advantage of this wonderful opportunity to learn more about their profession's past,” explains William G. Anderson, DO, the committee's chairman and a former AOA president. “So the committee members decided to ask the AOA Board to sweeten the incentives that students, interns and residents would have for squeezing essay writing into their busy schedules.” 
For decades, Irvin M. Korr, PhD, conducted pioneering basic science research exploring the relationships between somatic dysfunction and the nervous system. (Photo from the AOA photo archive)
For decades, Irvin M. Korr, PhD, conducted pioneering basic science research exploring the relationships between somatic dysfunction and the nervous system. (Photo from the AOA photo archive)
Not only will the winners of this year's competition be rewarded with cash prizes, but they will also be honored at the 111th Annual AOA Convention and Scientific Seminar, which will be held Oct 16-20 in Las Vegas. 
In addition, the history committee will encourage the winners to submit their essays to JAOA—The Journal of the American Osteopathic Association. 
Created to support the AOA's Campaign for Osteopathic Unity, the history essay competition is designed to foster career-long loyalty to the osteopathic medical profession, its institutions and its publications, Dr Anderson notes. 
“When you study the overwhelming hardships that the first DOs and nearly every generation of DOs since have overcome, you can't help but realize how critical unity and loyalty have always been to our survival as a profession,” Dr Anderson insists. “And when you look at the sacrifices our predecessors made so that we could practice medicine with all the privileges we take for granted today, you find yourself overflowing with pride and love for this profession.” 
“As the contestants delve into the profession's rich past,” adds the committee's vice chairman, William T. Betz, DO, “they will be rewarded with a greater sense of what it means to be DOs and with a greater appreciation for why this profession needs to remain both distinct and united.” 
Contest Details
The essay competition is open to all osteopathic medical students, interns and residents. The deadline for submitting essays is Thursday, June 1. 
While contestants can choose any topic on the history of the profession that they would like to explore, the history committee recommends that contestants focus their papers on one of the 20 principles outlined in the committee's “Core Principles for Teaching the History of Osteopathic Medicine.” 
The committee recommends that contestants seek out faculty members with publishing experience to advise them on their essays. 
In drafting their essays, contestants should consult the JAOA's “Information for Contributors” as guidelines. The JAOA's “Information for Contributors” guidelines appear in nearly every print issue of The Journal. The guidelines are also posted on the JAOA's Web site, which can be accessed through DO-Online at www.do-online.org. 
Just as the JAOA does not set word limits on submissions, the history committee is allowing contestants to write their essays to whatever length they believe is necessary to cover their topics. 
Last Year's Results
In 2005, nine students, interns and residents entered the history committee's essay competition. 
The vast majority of the entrants followed the history committee's recommendation of basing their essays on one of the committee's core principles. The most popular principle among the essay writers was the first, which focuses on the intellectual, medical and social climate that led Andrew Taylor Still, MD, DO, to establish osteopathic medicine. The next most popular principle was the 16th, which is aimed at exploring DOs being accepted into the medical corps of the uniformed services. 
The winning essay in the 2005 competition, however, was the only entry on the 11th core principle, which targets the development of research within the profession. That essay was written by Tony Brown, a DO and PhD student at the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey–School of Osteopathic Medicine in Stratford. 
Peer Reviewed Judging
As with last year's competition, this year's entries will be judged in a peer review setting by select members of the Committee on Osteopathic History and Identity. Based on the recommendations of the peer-review panel, the full committee will determine the winning essays by late summer in time for the winning authors to plan to attend the AOA convention. 
Depending on the quality and quantity of the entries, the history committee will award prizes to up to three authors. 
Should the winning authors elect to submit their essays to the JAOA, the essays will undergo The Journal's own peer-review process. 
“While the JAOA is not guaranteeing that it will publish the history committee's winning essays, just experiencing The Journal's peer-review process will be rewarding for the winning authors,” promises AOA Editor in Chief Gilbert E. D'Alonzo, Jr, DO. 
Where to Submit
Students, interns and residents who wish to compete in the history committee's essay competition should submit word-processed documents by June 1 to Michael E. Fitzgerald, the secretary of the AOA Committee on Osteopathic History and Identity. 
Essays can be e-mailed to Mr Fitzgerald at mfitzgerald@osteopathic.org. The subject line for e-mailed essays should be “History Essay Contest.” Alternatively, essays can be mailed to Mr Fitzgerald at the Department of Publications, American Osteopathic Association, 142 E Ontario St, Chicago, IL 60611-2864. For mailed entries, essays should be placed on diskettes or CDs. 
Contestants with questions can contact Mr Fitzgerald through e-mail, or they can call him at (800) 621-1773, ext 8157, or send faxes to him at (312) 202-8457. 
 Mr Fitzgerald is the director of the department of publications.
 
 This article was first published in the March 2006 issue of The DO magazine. The AOA Committee on Osteopathic History and Identity is recommending that essayists focus their papers on one of the 20 principles found in the “Core Principles for Teaching the History of Osteopathic Medicine.” Additional instructions are provided in The DO magazine for osteopathic medical students, interns, and residents who plan to enter the committee's history essay contest. See http://www.do-online.org and click the Publications & Advertising hyperlink on the left navigation bar for more information.
 
For decades, Irvin M. Korr, PhD, conducted pioneering basic science research exploring the relationships between somatic dysfunction and the nervous system. (Photo from the AOA photo archive)
For decades, Irvin M. Korr, PhD, conducted pioneering basic science research exploring the relationships between somatic dysfunction and the nervous system. (Photo from the AOA photo archive)