Another milestone has been reached as the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME), the American Osteopathic Association (AOA), and the American Association of Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine (AACOM) work toward a single accreditation system for graduate medical education (GME) programs in the U.S.

For the first time, four doctors of osteopathic medicine will serve on the ACGME Board of Directors, including a Western University of Health Sciences professor.

"These governance appointments demonstrate that the transition to single GME is working as planned, and serve as a testament to the progress made by the three organizations," said Stephen C. Shannon, DO, MPH, President and CEO of AACOM. "The joint decision of AACOM, AOA, and ACGME came about after months of careful deliberation and coordination, underscoring the mutual resolve and commitment shared by all parties to strengthen the GME system and improve U.S. health care."

The appointments go into effect Jan. 1, 2015. The four nominees will be the first DOs to serve on the ACGME Board of Directors.

After a process of thorough vetting, AACOM and AOA submitted nominations for their respective candidates in July 2014. Nominees were then presented to the ACGME Board for final consideration during its September meeting, where two from AACOM and two from AOA were approved.

One of AACOM’s nominated appointees is Clinton Adams, DO, WesternU College of Osteopathic Medicine of the Pacific Professor of Family Medicine and Senior Advisor for Strategic Leadership and External Affairs.

"The new members from AACOM and AOA must work together with the established members to assure a ‘team-based’ philosophy in order to fulfill our obligation to represent the best interest of ACGME, based on our experience and beliefs," Adams said. "The best interest for the ACGME clearly focuses on providing the milieu for resident education that results in a practice-ready, caring and compassionate physician to meet the demands of an ever-changing practice environment."

A graduate of Midwestern University Chicago College of Osteopathic Medicine, Dr. Adams entered the Navy Medical Department as an Undersea Medical Officer, completed residency training, and is board certified in Family Medicine and Anesthesiology. During Dr. Adams’ 30-year career as a naval officer, he achieved the rank of rear admiral and was the commander and CEO of three naval hospitals, the largest being Portsmouth Naval Regional Medical Center, where he oversaw more than 300 trainees, including 12 ACGME-accredited residencies. He has a master’s degree in Public Administration and is a Fellow of the American College of Health Care Executives.

"We have a legion of hard-working, dedicated educators across this nation who are trusting that their experience and historic leadership will be honored," Adams said. "Directors of medical education, program directors and Osteopathic Postdoctoral Training Institute leaders are in the field at the point of impact, and I feel a great responsibility to support them in their effort to continue to serve and provide leadership in the emergence of the single accreditation system."

AACOM’s second nominated appointee is Gary Slick, DO, Medical Director at the Osteopathic Medical Education Consortium of Oklahoma (OMECO), Director of Medical Education-OMECO Teaching Health Centers, and Professor of Internal Medicine at OSU Center for Health Sciences.

AOA’s nominated appointees are Karen Nichols, DO, Vice-Chair of AACOM’s Board of Directors and the Dean of the Chicago College of Osteopathic Medicine at Midwestern University; and David Forstein, DO, a practicing reproductive endocrinologist, a Residency Program Director at Greenville Health System in South Carolina, and Vice Chair for Clinical Affairs in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology. He is also an Associate Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology at the University of South Carolina School of Medicine Greenville.

The 13 members of the Osteopathic Principles Committee (OPC) have also been selected and are listed here. The OPC will develop requirements for osteopathically-focused residency programs and prerequisites for MDs seeking entry into osteopathically-focused programs.


About Western University of Health Sciences

Western University of Health Sciences (, located in Pomona, Calif. and Lebanon, Ore., is an independent nonprofit health professions university, conferring degrees in biomedical sciences, dental medicine, health sciences, medical sciences, nursing, optometry, osteopathic medicine, pharmacy, physical therapy, physician assistant studies, podiatric medicine and veterinary medicine. WesternU is home to the Patient Care Center, where the best in collaborative health care services is offered. The Chronicle of Higher Education named WesternU a Great College to Work For in 2012, 2013 and 2014.


The American Association of Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine (AACOM) represents the 30 accredited colleges of osteopathic medicine in the United States. These colleges are accredited to deliver instruction at 42 teaching locations in 28 states. In the 2013-14 academic year these colleges are educating over 23,000 future physicians – more than 20 percent of US medical students. Six of the colleges are public and 24 are private institutions.

AACOM was founded in 1898 to support and assist the nation’s osteopathic medical schools, and to serve as a unifying voice for osteopathic medical education. AACOM’s mission is to promote excellence in osteopathic medical education, in research and in service, and to foster innovation and quality among osteopathic medical colleges to improve the health of the American public.