Oct. 16, 2014
OSU-COM medical student appointed to American Osteopathic Association council
Heather Hensley is excited about a new chance to promote osteopathic medicine.
As a third-year student at Oklahoma State University College of Osteopathic Medicine, she was recently selected to be the student representative on the American Osteopathic Association's Council of New Physicians in Practice.
"It is a huge honor and I am thrilled to get to serve in this capacity," Hensley said.
The council's goals include addressing the unique needs and view of new physicians, encouraging medical students to get involved in new physician issues, promoting new physicians' professional development and instilling a sense of unity and loyalty to the osteopathic profession, according to the American Osteopathic Association.
The Broken Arrow native first became a physical therapist and practiced in Midwest City for two years. But frequent opportunities to shadow physicians in a variety of disciplines always left her wanting to learn more about medicine.
"I definitely wanted to stay in Oklahoma because I love living here," Hensley said. "With my background in physical therapy, osteopathic medicine seemed to fit me best."
Her passion for the discipline has grown during medical school, particularly after she participated as a voting delegate at the AOA House of Delegates meeting in Chicago last year.
"I am honored to be a part of the osteopathic family and find myself often educating others about osteopathic medicine, its benefits and what makes it unique," Hensley said. "I consider advocacy for my profession to be an integral part of my journey as a student doctor."
She met Robert Juhasz, D.O., president of the national American Osteopathic Association, when he visited the OSU-COM campus earlier this year. She admired his vision for osteopathic physicians and wanted to participate on his team.
He appointed her to the panel in August.
"I wanted to be on an AOA council because of my passion for osteopathic medicine and my desire to help build a strong future for the profession," Hensley said.
The 10-member council first met by teleconference in September and will meet in person later this month at the Osteopathic Medical Conference and Exposition in Seattle. Another meeting is set for Chicago in November.
"I now understand that osteopathic students have a respected voice in the AOA. I consider it a significant responsibility and a distinct honor to participate in laying the groundwork for a robust future in osteopathic medicine."