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Looking Forward

Voice of the future

News from the Bureau of Emerging Leaders

The BEL represents the interests of osteopathic medical students, resident physicians, fellows and new physicians in practice.

The American Osteopathic Association’s Bureau of Emerging Leaders (BEL) is the representative body and advocate for all osteopathic medical students, osteopathic physicians in postdoctoral training, and early career osteopathic physicians.

View updates below from the April 2022 issue of the Looking Forward BEL newsletter.

Financial spring cleaning & navigating student loan debt

By Timothy Lemaire, DO, MPH | If you’re like me, the thought of tackling student loan repayment is a waking nightmare. But we don’t have to do it alone.

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10 tips from the BEL for successful transitions

By the Bureau of Emerging Leaders | Spring brings new changes and challenges! BEL members share their top tips for navigating these transitions.

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Understanding the Substance Use Disorder Workforce Loan Repayment Program

By the Bureau of Emerging Leaders | Familiarize yourself with basics of the Substance use Disorder Workforce loan Repayment Program.

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BEL Workgroup Updates

BEL members represent the your interests on a wide variety of topics, including Advocacy, Communications, Resolutions and Scholarships.

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Meet your BOT representatives

The following BEL members represent osteopathic medical students, residents and new physicians on the AOA Board of Trustees.

Ryan Williamson, OMS III

Student Doctor Williamson is currently a third-year osteopathic medical student at Liberty University College of Osteopathic Medicine (LUCOM) and currently serves as the AOA Board of Trustees student delegate. In this role, he provides a vote on behalf of osteopathic students across the country to ensure their voices are heard by the AOA Executive Board. Learn more.

Vanessa Halvorsen, DO

Vanessa HalvorsonDr. Halvorsen currently serves as the Postdoctoral Trainee Member of the Board of Trustees. Last year, she served as the resident advisor to the board and is grateful to have another year to serve and represent resident members of the AOA. She is an Otolaryngology Head and Neck PGY-4 resident at Freeman Hospital in Missouri and expects to graduate in 2023. Learn more.

Chelsea Nickolson, DO

Dr. Nicolson serves as the New Physician in Practice on the Board of Trustees and Chair of the AOA Bureau of Emerging Leaders. She is board-certified by the American Osteopathic Board of Internal Medicine and works as Associate Program Director and Director of Osteopathic Education of the Internal Medicine Residency Program at Kettering Health-Dayton Campus in Ohio. Learn more.

Sonia Rivera-Martinez, DO

Sonia Rivera Martinez, DODr. Rivera-Martinez is an AOA board-certified family physician who currently serves as the Chair of the AOA Membership department, which oversees the Bureau of Emerging Leaders. She serves as an associate professor of family medicine at the New York Institute of Technology College of Osteopathic Medicine in Old Westbury, New York, and is an avid advocate for the osteopathic medical profession at the local, state and federal levels. Learn more.


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