Welcome!

Welcome to the official site for the Delaware State Osteopathic Medical Society (DSOMS). The DSOMS is a non-profit professional organization comprised of osteopathic physicians, residents, interns, and medical students who meet the membership requirements of the DSOMS Constitution and Bylaws. We are affiliated with the American Osteopathic Association (AOA).

News, Business & CME Meetings

UPCOMING CME AND BUSINESS MEETING

The most recent meeting of the DSOMS was held at the University & Whist Club on February 22, 2017.

A fascinating and very informative CME program was presented by Caitlin Halbert, DO on the topic of "Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery, An Update on Current Practices and Emerging Technologies"

The meeting was sponsored by St. Francis Healthcarel.   We thank St. Francis Hospital for their ongoing support of the DSOMS. 

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LETTER TO GOVERNOR CARNEY ON HEALTH CARE ISSUES

January 19, 2017

The Honorable John Carney, Governor of Delaware

Dear Governor Carney:

The American Osteopathic Association (AOA) and Delaware State Osteopathic Medical Society (DSOMS), representing nearly 130,000 osteopathic physicians and medical students, including over 300 in Delaware, are committed to ensuring a high quality, patient-centered, cost-efficient health care system for our nation. Today, osteopathic physicians (DOs) represent nearly 1 in 5 U.S. physicians, and 1 in 4 medical students. DOs practice in every medical specialty and in every state across the nation. The osteopathic approach to medicine is best expressed as a partnership between physicians and their patients to improve health, promote wellness, and enhance prevention.

It is our understanding that the incoming Administration and Congress are seeking input from Governors as they consider potential changes to our nation’s health care system. As you work with federal policymakers to promote the flexibility needed to address the access, quality and cost issues facing your state, the AOA and DSOMS would like to emphasize that as part of the osteopathic philosophy, it is our priority to ensure access to affordable care and coverage for our patients.

While great progress has been made over the last decade to advance such efforts, we also recognize and support the need to improve the current system. We therefore urge you to promote any approach to reform that maintains the stability of insurance markets, minimizes uncertainty, and encompasses the following priorities. We offer our assistance and expertise as you introduce and debate these efforts:

 Foundation based on prevention and care coordination: Primary care is the cornerstone of effective patient-centered care and coordination. We continue to support the use of health information technology as an important tool for achieving care coordination, but encourage state and federal policymakers to revisit the current mandates which employ flawed systems that interfere in the physician-patient relationship.

With the osteopathic philosophy to care focused on the needs of the ‘whole person’ (mind, body, spirit, and environment), we strongly support delivery models like the patient-centered medical home that enhance and promote the foundational role of primary care physicians and emphasize the provision of coordinated care across the health care spectrum. We strongly support health care reforms that incentivize and broaden opportunities for physicians to participate in more of these models across the payor landscape in order to continue the transformation towards a value-based health care system. Coverage of evidence-based, preventive services without cost-sharing to patients should also be preserved as a requirement of insurance plans. The Honorable John Carney January 19, 2017 Page 2

 The patient-physician relationship must be preserved: The establishment and ongoing maintenance of stable physician-patient relationships is critical to patient adherence and achievement of desired outcomes. Physicians’ clinical judgments, in partnership with their patients, should be the primary driver of care decisions.

 Development of a strong physician workforce is critical: The osteopathic medical profession has long committed to ensuring care for patients in rural and underserved communities, as evidenced in part by the establishment of Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine in these very areas. Yet current restrictions on post-graduate training have resulted in shortages in many areas of primary and specialty care. To ensure patients are receiving the best quality care and attention that they deserve, we support new and innovative models for the distribution of graduate medical education funding at the state and federal level. Additionally, payment models should incentivize physicians to provide care in rural and underserved areas, specifically in those specialties of greatest need.

 Coverage and access to care must be ensured: Whether their coverage is through a private or public payor, any patient should have coverage for, and access to, a core set of essential benefits and a broad network of physicians to include primary and specialty care across all aspects of medical and behavioral health. We firmly believe that patients should not be charged higher premiums nor denied coverage based on their pre-existing health care conditions or past medical history, sex, disability, race or ethnicity, family history, or gender. Lastly, there should be a safety net of care that is accessible to the most vulnerable in our nation of all ages who lack the resources to access coverage directly themselves.

The AOA and DSOMS look forward to working with the State of Delaware, the new Administration, and the 115

th Congress to advance necessary changes that increase access to high-quality, affordable health care. Should you or your staff have any questions, please contact Nick Schilligo, AOA’s Associate Vice President for State Government Affairs, at nschilligo@osteopathic.org or (312) 202-8185.

Sincerely,

Anna Marie Sullivan, DO, President, DSOMS

Boyd R. Buser, DO, President, AOA

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RECENT MEETING

Our previous business and CME meeting was held on October 18th.   

Our speakers and support for the evening were provided by The Lankenau Heart Institute.
 
Topic:  Advances in Cardiovascular Care
Presenters:
Eric Gnall, DO Interventional Cardiology
Vincent DiGiovanni, DO Vascular Surgery
 
The DSOMS thanks Lankenau Hospital for its continuing support and educational opportunities
  

 

A Look Back

Dr. Andrew Taylor Still is credited with starting the Osteopathic medical profession when he founded the American School of Osteopathy (now A.T. Still University) in Kirksville, Missouri in 1892.

Dr. Still was born in Virginia in 1828, the son of a Methodist minister and physician. At an early age he decided to follow in his father's footsteps and become a physician. After studying medicine and serving an apprenticeship under his father, he became a licensed MD in the state of Missouri. In the early 1860s, he completed additional coursework at the College of Physicians and Surgeons in Kansas City, MO and went on to serve as a surgeon in the Union Army during the Civil War.

After the Civil War and following the death of three of his children from spinal meningitis in 1864, Dr. Still concluded that the orthodox medical practices of his day were frequently ineffective, and sometimes harmful. He devoted the next ten years of his life to studying the human body and finding better ways to treat disease.

His research and clinical observations led him to believe that the musculoskeletal system played a vital role in health and disease. He concluded that the body contained all of the elements needed to maintain health, if properly stimulated. Dr. Still believed that by correcting problems in the body's structure, through the use of manual techniques now known as osteopathic manipulative medicine (OMM), the body's ability to function and to heal itself could be greatly improved. He also promoted the idea of preventive medicine and endorsed the philosophy that physicians should focus on treating the whole patient, rather than just the disease. 

Learn more about Osteopathic Medicine by clicking on the Osteopathic Medicine tab on this page.

Clammy with a chance of sniffles: New health apps track sickness hotspots

Health surveillance apps are being touted as Doppler maps for disease. Do they live up to the hype?

At the touch of an icon, a smart phone can tell you if light showers or heavy wind gusts are headed your way. In the not-too-distant future, mobile apps designed to track illness could be used to accurately forecast waves of congestion, surges of fever and floods of fatigue.

Several health apps emerging on the mobile market tout themselves as Doppler maps for disease, drawing on data aggregated from search engines and social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter to track sickness hot spots in communities across the nation.

Although the technology is still developing and current data can be somewhat unreliable, such apps could soon play a key role in tracking and even preventing the spread of contagious diseases.

“Social media has really been an underutilized platform for tracking illness,” says Jay Bhatt, DO, chief health officer at the Illinois Health and Hospital Association. “It could potentially identify an illness before it really takes hold in an area.”

Dr. Bhatt and his team enhanced and managed Foodborne Chicago, an award-winning web application that uses Twitter to identify individuals who believe they may have food poisoning. The app flags public tweets for possible follow up from the city’s health department, offering the capability for health officials to track foodborne outbreaks in real time.

“This kind of tracking is a tool that offers tremendous potential for improving public health,” Dr. Bhatt says.

The reliability factor

Although the dependability of mobile apps like Sickweather, FluView and HealthMap continue to improve, many illness trackers rely heavily on self-reported, unsubstantiated data. Contributing further toward unreliability, too few users are engaging or contributing on many of the mobile platforms to make the data conclusive.

Farhad Modarai, DO, a family medicine resident at Duke University Medical Center in Durham, North Carolina, stresses that the number of people using illness trackers plays a significant role when it comes to reliability.

“In an ideal world, you’d want close to one-third, if not one-half of a city’s population reporting their symptoms,” he says.

Cole Zanetti, DO, points out that older surveillance trackers, such as the now-defunct Google Flu Trends tool, relied on search engine activity to predict illness trends. However, the tool’s algorithms weren’t able to discriminate between users who were searching flu symptoms or treatment options and those searching for other reasons.

“The validity of the data used to perform predictions was inaccurate,” he says. “Tools like Google Flu Trends tended to overestimate.”

New flu trackers, like ARGO, do a better job of interpreting user search behavior, resulting in more accurate estimations. Developed by Harvard statisticians, ARGO relies on Google search trends, but also incorporates CDC historical data and seasonality factors. Work is under way to make the tool more widely available.

Putting it into practice

As popularity of sickness trackers continues to increase, patients could potentially misinterpret or overreact to app data, leading to unwarranted health concerns.

“If a patient believes cases of the flu are popping up all over their neighborhood, they might be convinced they need a Tamiflu prescription when they’re really just battling a cold,” explains Aaron George, DO, a family physician in Chambersburg, Pennsylvania.

Ultimately, any app that leads to open dialogue between physician and patient is a good thing, Dr. George stresses. “I love when my patients use apps that lead to thoughtful questions about health concerns,” he says. “It gives us an opportunity to have a discussion and partner together on a solution.”

Courtesy the DO

Points of Contact

Delaware State
Osteopathic Medical Society
P.O. Box 2693
Wilmington, DE 19805
Phone: 302.543.4767
Email: dsomsoc@gmail.com

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