American College of Osteopathic Family Physicians Announces Acceptance of Active Allopathic Family Physician Members

On March 10, the American College of Osteopathic Family Physicians (ACOFP) Congress of Delegates passed a resolution to its bylaws and constitution that allows allopathic family physicians to apply for full membership in the organization. This historic change in membership received final approval on May 11.

With recent changes to the single-accreditation system, allopathic (MD) graduates now have the ability to train in programs that had historically only been available to osteopathic physicians (DOs). As more allopathic physicians seek to embrace osteopathic principles and practices, such as osteopathic manipulative medicine, this milestone decision will increase access to a more holistic approach to medicine for the entire medical community and improve patient care on a national level. 

This shift in membership allows ACOFP to serve as the professional home for osteopathic and allopathic family physicians who are dedicated to the principles of osteopathic medicine. ACOFP offers opportunities for the career-long success of osteopathic and allopathic physicians alike, in addition to the engagement of other allied health professionals and advocates that support the tenets of osteopathic medicine.

Prior to this decision, allopathic members were only eligible for associate membership. Now, active allopathic physician members will be eligible to participate as voting members in the ACOFP Congress of Delegates and serve on ACOFP committees if they have met the required qualifications.

"Recognizing allopathic physicians as full members in ACOFP has been years in the making, and it is exciting that it has occurred during my presidency. I think our osteopathic medicine founding father, A.T. Still, MD, DO, would be proud of the collaboration and integration of the osteopathic and allopathic professions," said ACOFP President Nicole Bixler, DO, MBA, FACOFP. "It is now our responsibility as osteopathic family physicians to share our knowledge of holistic medicine and to passionately educate or allopathic counterparts on the benefits to our collective patients. By sharing our unique perspective on patient care with our colleagues, we can foster a welcoming environment to our membership organization."

Dr. Bixler went on to congratulate the first active allopathic physician member, her husband, Brian Bixler, MD, who has served as the only allopathic physician in their osteopathic practice for the past decade. "He has attended more ACOFP conventions than most DO family physicians, and it is an honor to have him be recognized as the first of hopefully many allopathic members to come!"

Dr. Brian Bixler added, "I have been a part of ACOFP for the past 10 years, both in my daily practice and in support of my wife and the Board of Governors. It is truly an honor to be recognized as the first active allopathic family physician in ACOFP."

Source: American College of Osteopathic Family Physicians


ACOFP is a community of current and future family physicians that champions osteopathic principles and supports its members by providing resources such as education, networking and advocacy, while putting patients first.

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