When we ask ourselves what we can do to better serve our patients and our profession, we should remember that the very word doctor starts with an action verb that also represents who we are: “D.O.” Over the weeks leading into my inauguration as NJAOPS President, I have been trying to look ahead to gain an objective view of the challenges and the opportunities that face our profession.
We appear to be at a crossroads. On the one hand, our healthcare problems often seem to outweigh viable solutions, as exemplified by the national opioid crisis. On the other hand, new technologies, breakthroughs in genetic testing, an increased focus on patient-centered care (something we as osteopathic physicians have never moved away from!), and measurable progress in the diagnosis and treatment of devastating diseases such as Alzheimer’s, give us hope.
The first two letters of doctor are DO. Osteopaths, both as individuals and as a profession, stand in front. We are the leaders, and never will be the followers. NJAOPS represents a key factor in fostering unity and stands ready to bring various stakeholders together to promote a vibrant, expanding, effective osteopathic presence for 21st century healthcare challenges. In unity, we can achieve much: a potent legislative presence; a voice for patients of all ages and backgrounds; and a standard of care that serves as a model for ALL healthcare professionals in the region to strive toward.
Len Schuchman. DO, MPH
NJAOPS President 2018-2019