American College of Osteopathic Neurologists and Psychiatrists

The American College of Neuropsychiatrists

(An Osteopathic Institution)

By Floyd E. Dunn, D.O., F.A.C.N., F.A.A.M.D.

The April 1970 Bulletin (Vol. XXIII, No. 2) brought news of an important, but double-faced nature: The A.M.A. Council on Education had sanctioned internships and residencies for D.O. graduates in A.M.A.-approved hospital training programs. Our College was fearful that (a) this might lead to a repetition of the unfortunate situation that occurred in California where after surrendering their degrees and specialty practice rights in the osteopathic profession, the people in that state found their little $65-m.d. degrees did not carry any recognition as specialists among their new Allopathic “brothers; (b) our new graduates would be tempted to jump headlong into the A.M.A. programs without waiting for them to be approved by the A.O.A. and A.C.N.—which approval was mandatory and, by A.O.A. regulations, had to be obtained prior to entering the training program. This second fear proved prophetic: at least a dozen of our brash non-heeding young graduates committed themselves prematurely to A.M.A.-sponsored programs in neurology or psychiatry (several of them leaving A.O.A.-sponsored programs where they were under contract), and then wrote to our College Secretary “requesting approval and/or inspection” of their programs “to insure their eligibility to examinations for certification” before the American Osteopathic Board of Neurology & Psychiatry. One cannot help speculating about the basic moral-ethical makeup of people who ignore laid-down boundaries of social or of professional groups and seem to think that they can make their own rules. Never-the-less, the officials of the A.O.A. and of the A.C.N. and the A.O.B.N.P., after several sessions of conference and discussion, formulated plans through which any such ‘lost sheep’ might seek re-entry into the osteopathic fold. The A.O.A. required that each such person be considered entirely separately on its own merits, and that no blanket special formulae be set up.

Our Thirty-fourth Annual Meeting, held in San Francisco, October 1-7, 1970, with headquarters at the Fairmont Hotel devoted many hours to the problem of training of our D.O. graduates in non-A.O.A. approved (Allopathic) programs and centers. We were beginning to find that the larger and better Allopathic training centers were willing to have A.O.A. inspection team visit their facility for an on-site inspection, but still too many of our young “eager beavers” were jumping the gun and contracting for training at non-A.O.A.-approved centers, hoping that somehow, by-hook-or-by-crook, they could get under the A.O.A. umbrella retroactively. And the fact of the matter is that, because we believed that it was wiser to “fence them in than to fence them out” our Council on Educational Evaluation did tend to bend over backwards to help these errant graduates find ways to get their programs approved if they could be completely documented and if they represented training of an acceptable standard.

The chairman of the Council on Educational Evaluation reported that there were forty-one trainees in graduate training programs in Osteopathic Centers; The largest group in our College history to that date. The A.O.B.N.P. reported that nine candidates had successfully passed the written portion of their boards: again a record number.

The membership voted Life Membership awards to R.H. Still, D.O., and Sydney M. Kanev, D.O. (both Fellows of the College), and voted Louis E. Rentz, D.O. the degree of Fellow of the American College of Neuropsychiatrists.

The senior members voted to hold our thirty-fifth annual meeting in London and Paris, and John Cox, D.O., as president-elect and program chairman was given the arduous task of organizing and coordinating not only the travel arrangements, but also the educational elements of this projected foreign jaunt.

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