Dean's Update 2020-10

October 12, 2020


Dear Michigan DO community and DO medical students:

Recently, and as noted by the American Osteopathic Association below, the tenets, expertise and motivations of the entire osteopathic medical profession were called into question by several major news outlets, both in print and social media, over the past week. This dissemination of misinformation not only appears to question the intentions of a small group of journalists, but also tarnishes those in the media who strive to present unbiased health and medical information.

Certainly, we stand side-by-side with the swift actions of the AOA, AACOM, as well as all DOs and professional partners to help educate those who are misinformed about our profession and refute those who seek to undermine a 130-year tradition of providing compassionate and holistic care to the nation and state of Michigan. We specifically appreciate the AOA’s rapid response and their multi-faceted efforts to “set the record straight.”

On behalf of the thousands of DO medical students, residents, fellows and physicians in Michigan, we at the Michigan Osteopathic Association and the MSU College of Osteopathic Medicine similarly are working rapidly to address and rebut questions or concerns that may be arising from these recent and unfortunate, short-sighted events. Please let us know if you are being adversely affected.

Meanwhile, we note the multiple actions, interventions and corrections that already have taken place, with more likely to come as summarized by the AOA notification below. Please also note that many of our professional colleagues in the allopathic, nursing and other health professions also have stepped up to dispel the misinformation and short-sighted notions of a few.

Please let them know we appreciate their support during these tumultuous and divisive times.


Jeffery Postelwaite DO, FACOOG, MBA
MOA President

Kris Nicholoff

Andrea Amalfitano DO, PhD
Dean, MSU College of Osteopathic Medicine


The osteopathic medical profession came under fire this week in many national news outlets and on social media. Fortunately, DOs rose up to reset the narrative—rapidly calling out rampant misrepresentation of the profession and sheer disregard for the facts among media and other high profile people.

Over the course of the week, the AOA aggressively addressed these inaccuracies. We can say with pride that far more people now have a better understanding of osteopathic medicine and the incredible contribution of the nation’s 151,000 osteopathic physicians and medical students. Your professional organization worked tirelessly alongside you to combat misinformation and set the record straight.

We’d like to take a moment to share some of those actions:
  • Requested updates from several top-tier media outlets, leading to corrections in the Washington Post, The Atlantic, and USA Today;
  • Reviewed all osteopathic media coverage to determine the accuracy of messaging and reached out immediately when needed;
  • Pitched 160 reporters offering access to AOA leadership and practicing osteopathic physicians to provide background on the profession;
  • Coordinated interviews with Los Angeles Times and Kaiser Health News, leading to informed, unbiased articles that accurately communicate the scope of osteopathic medicine;
  • Partnered with AACOM to submit a letter to the editor to the New York Times.
  • Shared approximately 70 unique posts on social media, including Twitter, Facebook and Instagram, which generated a combined 838k impressions and 60k engagements—a 623% increase in impressions and a 1618% increase in engagements compared to the previous period;
  • Developed a short video featuring Dr. Klauer discussing the situation and actions from the AOA;
  • Monitored and retweeted DOs and MDs who have stood up for the profession;
  • Coordinated with influential Twitter DOs to form a rapid strike team; and
  • Developed a Quorum campaign used to encourage the media to #GetItRight. To date, at least 800 people have taken action as a result of the email from Dr. Ely and Dr. Klauer, and over 1,300 tweets have been sent.
  • Served as a resource for media outlets interested in sharing accurate information about the profession—search is up 47% week over week with over 115k impressions for “osteopathic medicine” alone;
  • Drafted an article in The DO that highlights activities and outcomes to date;
  • Developed a messaging document that shares key talking points; and
  • Provided ongoing reporting regarding the situation.
  • As we close out the week, we would like to again thank you for all that you do on the front lines of care and on behalf of the profession. It is our great honor and privilege to represent you, and we take that responsibility seriously.

Thomas L. Ely, DO
President, American Osteopathic Association

Kevin Klauer, DO, EJD
CEO, American Osteopathic Association