Student view:

Mohammad Ibrahim: A call to action

Nov. 13, 2019

Mohammad Ibrahim is a fourth year student in the College of Osteopathic Medicine

Change is a funny thing. We never really want it until it is too late. 

Recently, I participated in the annual meeting of the American Society of Anesthesiologists, or ASA. It was here that I realized that becoming involved and inspiring change, before it’s too late, is what helps move people and professions forward.

Advocacy is vital to societies and it was through this experience that I realized the profession of osteopathic medicine is excelling in this area. In fact, we are the cornerstone of advocacy. 

As living proof of this, the Accreditation Council of Graduate Medical Education, or ACGME, and American Osteopathic Association residencies have recently merged. The ACGME has also elected an osteopathic physician as chair-elect.

It felt good to bring the strengths of our profession, advocacy and patient-centered holistic care and display them effortlessly at the ASA meeting. This is possible because our strengths as osteopathic professionals align perfectly with the field of anesthesiology, which is also centered around advocacy and patient-centered holistic care. 

This event was a slam dunk, filled with vibrant activities and opportunities to network. There were all walks of life in attendance and even the surgeon general of the United States Jerome Adams spoke. 

As a fellow osteopathic professional myself, I noticed that there were many osteopathic physicians present as well; we were well represented. 

Before the surgeon general gave his formal lecture to a full house, medical students —including myself— had an intimate conversation with him. I was at the forefront of it all, bringing up issues regarding advocacy in our communities and making sure to let him know my concerns.  

Personally, I learned some things that will help develop my own practice and way of life. As a delegate member, I had the unique privilege of voting in the House of Delegates meeting.  

This is what got me thinking of how involvement can move our profession forward as a whole and how we all need to be involved. I got to experience what it felt to make my ideas heard, and I had an active role in change. The kind of change that isn’t too late  

Networking and representing your organization are critical components to advocacy. I spent a considerable amount of time connecting with many leaders from great organizations. 

I hope to use what I learned from the leaders I met during this excellent event in my future physician-leadership roles.  

Finally, I want to invite you with a call to action. As an osteopathic professional, it’s time to get involved.

As the great cultural anthropologist Margaret Mead once said, “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.”