Meyer C, Mann M, Riley C, Portanova R. Anatomy of an OPTI: Part I. Form, function, and relationships. J Am Osteopath Assoc 1997;97(10):599. doi: 10.7556/jaoa.19126.96.36.1999.
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In July 1995, the American Osteopathic Association (AOA) Board of Trustees passed new regulations for the accreditation of osteopathic graduate medical education (GME) programs by establishing the Osteopathic Postdoctoral Training Institutions (OPTI) system, to be implemented over 4 years. The resulting changes include requirements for college cosponsorship of GME programs and the establishment of standards for the minimum number of residency programs, interns, and residents. The OPTIs will be subject to AOA inspections at least every 5 years. Proponents of the OPTI system claim it will strengthen the profession by promoting educational collaboration, raising academic standards, and requiring appropriate resources to support osteopathic medical education. Opponents fear that it will be too resource intensive, create an additional layer of unnecessary bureaucracy, and have a negative impact on small colleges, hospitals, and states. Despite the controversy, a process for applying for OPTI status has been developed by the AOA, and a number of hospitals and colleges are already developing OPTIs. This article, the first in a two-part series, identifies issues and barriers to be considered in the formation of OPTIs and articulates principles underlying successful collaborations. In Part 2 these issues, principles, and barriers will be reinforced by describing the process used to form a large OPTI--the Ohio University College of Osteopathic Medicine (OU-COM) Centers for Osteopathic Regional Education (CORE) System.
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