Looking Forward

BEL members and scholarship recipients gather at OMED23

By William Rinaldi, OMS IV


This past October, thousands of osteopathic medical students, residents and physicians gathered in beautiful Orlando, Florida, to take part in OMED23. This year, the Bureau of Emerging Leaders collaborated with various organizations to help facilitate a student/resident mixer, sponsor scholarship winners, and present content promoting osteopathic education. The mixer was incredibly well-attended, and sessions were filled with an abundance of meaningful content.

BEL scholarship recipients

The BEL’s Events and Scholarships Workgroup chair Nigel Jagoo, DO, and vice chair Alissa Hendricks, OMS III, facilitated the OMED scholarships this year. They provided the following update on the experience BEL scholarship recipients at OMED:

At its core, the goal of OMED is to provide medical education, but it’s also a fantastic networking opportunity for anyone looking to make a big career change like finishing residency. To help increase access to OMED and all the benefits it can offer, the AOA BEL offers an annual scholarship to cover registration and $1,500 towards travel costs for osteopathic residents, fellows, and new physicians in practice. Beyond a financial benefit, the awardees are also given personalized OMED itineraries, including the opportunity to attend the annual American Osteopathic Foundation Gala. This year, BEL OMED scholarships were awarded to five DOs in training:

  • Rachel Jeter, DO
    Family medicine residentFlorida
  • Kaitlyn Kilpatrick, DO
    Family medicine residentMichigan
  • Shahmir Naveed, DO
    Internal medicine residentDelaware
  • Alexis Ousley, DO
    Family Medicine resident, Kentucky
  • Ashwin Shankar, DO
    Pediatric & adult allergy/immunology fellow, Ohio

When asked what their most memorable OMED experience was, almost all scholarship winners responded with “being reconnected with my osteopathic family.” As a past OMED scholarship recipient, Dr. Jagoo recalls that completing residency training at a historically allopathic resident program can make it challenging to maintain your osteopathic identity. “Being able to attend OMED reminded me of what truly sets us apart – our heart and sense of community. I needed that reminder.” Learn more about the scholarship and read about the experiences of past recipients.

OMED23 scholarship winner Shahmir Naveed, DO, shared the following recap of his OMED experience,

“Receiving the scholarship was a fantastic surprise and being able to attend OMED for the first time was a wonderful experience. I was surrounded by thousands of other osteopathic physicians, all of whom were excited to be there and happy to be connecting with one another. I was able to meet many physicians in the field and deepen my understanding of osteopathic medicine. We had wonderful speakers who shared insights on the most prevalent matters that are currently affecting our medical system and navigating the path to medicine. It was amazing to see such thought-provoking and heartwarming physicians speak about their trials and tribulations in medicine. The whole experience was exhilarating, and it felt really energizing to be surrounded by other physicians. Being surrounded by others who truly want to help people and make a difference in the world helped remind me of why I chose medicine in the first place. Being able to attend OMED was amazing and I cannot wait for next year. I highly recommend that anyone who has never gone apply for the BEL scholarship and get involved in OMED!”

Looking ahead

Overall, OMED23 was a huge success for medical students, residents, fellows, and new physicians in practice. We will be together again to share countless laughs, experiences, and knowledge soon. So, until OMED24 in San Antonio, be well, and remember to continue taking pride in everything you DO!

Check out the photos below for more highlights from OMED23!