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BCOM “On the Map” at Osteopathic Medical Education Conference

2018-2019 Board of Trustees. Left to Right: Tyler King (Region IV Trustee) Christian Von Gizycki (Region II Trustee), Kate de Clerk (National SOMA President), Sarah Bechay (Region I Trustee), Annalissa Kammeyer (Region III Trustee), Megan McCord (Region V Trustee), Sarah Friedrich (National SOMA Vice President/Speaker of the House), Harris Ahmed (National SOMa Parliamentarian), John Rajala (National SOMA Treasurer)

Students from BCOM traveled to Philadelphia in early October to attend the Osteopathic Medical Education Conference (OMED), hosted by the American Osteopathic Association. Thousands of osteopathic physicians, medical students, and other related health professionals attend this annual conference. Several other osteopathic organizations, including the Student Osteopathic Medical Association (SOMA) and the Council of Osteopathic Student Government Presidents (COSGP), meet during this time as well. BCOM was well-represented across the board, with several of our students recognized for their achievements and taking on elected roles.

Student Government Association President Jessica Jacob and Vice President Antony Awad represented BCOM at the Fall COSGP Conference. Awad said, “We are bringing a lot of great ideas back to our campus. You will see a lot of new activities on campus, stay tuned, we are both very excited!”

SGA President Jessica Jacob and Vice President Antony Awad

Three BCOM students from the class of 2020—Harris Ahmed, Jessica Jacob, and John Rajala—were also inducted into Omega Beta Iota. OBI is the political honors fraternity for the osteopathic profession and is considered an “honorary recognition for politically active medical students and professional mentors who demonstrate excellence in healthcare politics.”

Rajala was also elected to serve as treasurer for the National Board of Trustees of the Student Osteopathic Medical Association (SOMA) for the 2018-2019 academic year. This will be his second year serving on the Board of Trustees. Ahmed was elected to serve as the parliamentarian for SOMA. Not only will he be a voting member on the Board of Trustees, he will be responsible for representing SOMA at the American Osteopathic Association’s House of Delegates in the summer of 2019. Megan McCord, another BCOM student, will be stepping into Rajala’s position as Region V trustee. Region V is SOMA’s newest region, and contains schools from Nevada, California, Utah, Oregon, Washington, Arizona, and New Mexico.

John Rajala (Current Region V Trustee) and Megan McCord (Region V Trustee Elect)

Rajala explained, “The Student Osteopathic Medical Association is THE affiliate organization of the American Osteopathic Association, and we are the only student organization with the ability to submit resolutions directly to the AOA’s House of Delegates. We are a student-driven organization working to provide osteopathic medical students with quality resources, opportunities and guidance to support our members becoming better physicians. SOMA accomplishes this by remaining committed to our priorities of student voice, development, accountability, mentorship, and visibility. All osteopathic medical students at BCOM are eligible to join SOMA. We provide discounts on board prep materials, professional development, and most importantly, we provide a voice for our membership.”

During the Fall 2017 House of Delegates, several resolutions were submitted. Of note, a resolution on “Medicare for All” was passed, and will be submitted to the AOA House of Delegates this summer.

Rajala said, “To summarize, BCOM is on the map nationally, and we’re not going anywhere any time soon.”

Harris Ahmed being filmed by the American Osteopathic Association for National SOMA.