The ACOEP-RSO (American College of Osteopathic Emergency Physicians – Resident-Student Organization) provides emergency medicine (EM) residents and student members a wealth of opportunities and benefits. From RSO events at Scientific Assembly and Student Symposiums, to the Resident Education Package and member discounts, the RSO exists to serve our members’ educational and professional needs. While these resources provide direct benefits to our members, the critical role of advocacy is often overlooked. The RSO has contributed to several advocacy issues to over the past year. 

Defending Our Training

The extensive medical training we have completed as osteopathic EM physicians is often not known, misunderstood, or confused with the very different training completed by foreign osteopaths. We published “Osteopathic Medicine: What Exactly Is a DO?” in EM Resident with our colleagues at the Emergency Medicine Residents’ Association (EMRA) to clarify misconceptions, highlight the many similarities in our training to our MD EM physician colleagues, and explain the subtle differences. 

Resident Scholarly Activity

The ACOEP-RSO Board supports a broad definition of resident scholarly activity beyond research including curriculum development, contribution to professional committees, and creation of multimedia educational materials. We worked with other resident leaders to publish “Response to ‘Creating Consensus: Revisiting the Emergency Medicine Scholarly Activity Requirement’” to advocate for this broad definition. 

Faculty Protected Time

EM has unique challenges to conducting on-shift resident and student teaching including unlimited patient caps, overcrowding, and administration demands for higher productivity. These obstructions to on-shift teaching have necessitated off-shift clinical educational activities including simulation. Therefore, protected time for EM core faculty to conduct off-shift clinical educational activities is critical to EM resident and student education overall. The ACGME’s new EM Common Program Requirements remove protected time for core faculty; therefore, we worked with other resident leaders to publish “Emergency Medicine Residents Oppose ACGME Changes to the Common Program Requirements.” 

Independent Practice

The ACOEP-RSO Board recently supported the ACOEP’s position against the independent practice of EM by non-physician practitioners (NPP) in a recent Fast Track publication. However, we continue to recognize that quality emergency care is a team effort; therefore, we believe that EM residents and NPPs should collaborate in multi-disciplinary teams. 

The ACOEP-RSO is a community with osteopathic roots; however, as stated in our mission, we exist to serve all EM residents and students worldwide. We look forward to a future representing and advocating for our members and all EM residents and students. If you are not a member and would like to be a part of our great community, join the ACOEP here!


Dhimitri A. Nikolla, DO
ACOEP-RSO Immediate Past President