As an osteopathic student and national leader for the American Medical Student Association (AMSA), I was disappointed to read in the Feb. 25 issue of The Signal that members of Pre-Students of Osteopathic Medicine (Pre-SOMA) felt that AMSA “doesn’t have enough time to focus on Osteopathic and Allopathic medicine.” That statement is far from the truth regarding AMSA as an organization. AMSA is the largest organization that contains both allopathic and osteopathic students in the nation. There is an AMSA chapter at almost every single osteopathic school in the nation. Its pre-medical membership consists of students who are interested in participating in either allopathic or osteopathic. AMSA has an osteopathic medicine special interest group and holds Osteopathic Manipulative Medicine mixers.
This article is not to ignore the importance of Pre-SOMA. In fact, I am an active member of SOMA as well. What I think is important to understand is that each serves a separate but important role that is essential for the development of future osteopathic physicians. Pre-SOMA will provide details very specific to future osteopathic students and how to get into an osteopathic school, but Pre-AMSA provides an insight into programs and issues that every future medical student needs to know. Issues such as student debt, the future of the health care system, and many others require a unified response from future physicians, allopathic or osteopathic, and this can only be found with AMSA. As physicians, these rifts will develop in organizations such as the American Medical Association (AMA) and American Osteopathic Association (AOA), but this is the chance to be a part of something unique that both acknowledges those things that make us unique and works to bring us together for a common goal.
I encourage every pre-medical student, whether you want to go to an MD or DO school to take check out Pre-AMSA and Pre-SOMA. Nobody should have to choose one or the other because both organizations will provide you with skills that will have your much more prepared to start you first day of medical school.
Touro University Nevada College of Osteopathic Medicine OMS-III
AMSA Region X Co-Director