Letters to the Editor  |   September 2008
Author Affiliations
  • Michael I. Opipari, DO
    American Osteopathic Association Council on Postdoctoral Training Chicago, Ill
Article Information
Medical Education / Graduate Medical Education
Letters to the Editor   |   September 2008
The Journal of the American Osteopathic Association, September 2008, Vol. 108, 531. doi:
The Journal of the American Osteopathic Association, September 2008, Vol. 108, 531. doi:
In his letter to the editor, Jack S. Moskowitz, DO, expresses concern regarding the “disappointingly low number of certifications awarded by osteopathic medical specialty boards for anatomic pathology.” Of course, it is important to understand that the number of certifications in any specialty is a reflection of the number of osteopathic residents completing programs in that specialty. 
For a long time, the American Osteopathic Association (AOA) has not had any approved residency training programs in anatomic pathology. This lack of programs, however, does not reflect a lack of interest or desire on the part of the AOA or the Council on Postdoctoral Training (COPT) in offering these programs to our graduates. The COPT has recently encouraged and assisted the American Osteopathic College of Pathologists (AOCP) in rewriting and updating its “Basic Standards for Residency Training in Anatomic Pathology and Laboratory Medicine.” These updated standards have since been approved by the COPT, the AOA Bureau of Osteopathic Education, and the AOA Board of Trustees. The “Basic Standards for Residency Training in Anatomic Pathology and Laboratory Medicine” are available for program development—as they have been for several years. 
The lack of residency training programs in anatomic pathology is the result of a lack of program applications from osteopathic training institutions, as well as an apparent lack of energy and enthusiasm from the AOCP itself in stimulating interest within the hospitals where its members are represented. There are a number of graduating osteopathic medical students who desire pathology specialties and who enter pathology residencies in allopathic programs accredited by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education. These residents often request AOA certification of their allopathic pathology training. 
As chair of the AOA COPT, I can report that we would prefer to support our own osteopathic pathology residency programs. To accomplish this task, however, increased support needs first to come from within the specialty (including the specialty college) to stimulate and encourage growth of pathology training programs. Then, support needs to develop at the training hospital level, with the submission of pathology program applications to the AOA Program and Training Review Council. 
The AOA supports all specialties, as osteopathic medicine is a full-service profession. We hope to see new pathology residency applications and programs soon. I invite all interested readers to assume the responsibility of assisting us in this endeavor.