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National Center for Osteopathic Principles and Practice Education

A.T. Still UniversityKirksville College of Osteopathic Medicine (ATSU-KCOM) is proud to offer a new home for osteopathic medicine providers, programs, and institutions called National Center for Osteopathic Principles and Practice Education (NCOPPE). NCOPPE is designed to serve and build the osteopathic learning community nationwide. NCOPPE assists osteopathic recognition residency programs and advances osteopathic principles and practice (OPP) training across the educational continuum.  

“We provide both training experts who are passionate about learning and advancing patient care, as well as an online repository of OPP-related education materials to serve the osteopathic learning community,” said Richard J. LaBaere II, DO, MPH, FAODME, associate dean of graduate medical education.

NCOPPE evolved from Still OPTI, an Accredited Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) sponsoring institution, after identifying residency programs that worked directly with trained educators from colleges of osteopathic medicine flourished. NCOPPE takes the Still OPTI concept and expands it to include one-on-one support for osteopathic recognition programs, on-demand materials for educators across the undergraduate medical education (UME), graduate medical education (GME), CME continuum, and a partner in GME development. 

“This learning community is one where we actively share our best practices, and we share our challenges. We work together on everything from education, accreditation, and advancing the unique practice of osteopathic medicine,” Dr. LaBaere said.

One unique offering from NCOPPE is the “Osteopathic Approach to” webinar series. This series offers a comprehensive OPP approach to medical issues like asthma or low back pain. Each webinar focuses on one ailment and considers all aspects of whole person health, including elements such as nutrition, pathophysiology, and homeostasis.

“Building a community for educators to gather and collaborate is part of the foundation for NCOPPE”, said Sondra Jepson, DHSC, Executive Director of Still OPTI. 

To build a strong educational community, Drs. LaBaere and Jepson have opened the doors not just to ATSU students, faculty, and alumni, but to all residency programs and physicians seeking to advance osteopathic practice.

“We recently started an educator’s forum where we are meeting online quarterly to provide education and share best practices,” Dr. LaBaere said. “We are answering questions that individual members have and exploring how we can pursue and investigate new knowledge, new understanding through collaborations, and community research.”

In addition to the resources, NCOPPE has a mission to meet educators where they are. If there is someone who is interested in starting a residency program at their institution and doesn’t know where to begin, Drs. LaBaere and Jepson can provide assistance with the initial assessments and completing the application. 

“Quite recently, we assisted in the development of a new family medicine program in Green Bay, Wisconsin. It was actually one year ago that we submitted the application and right now they are recruiting, and the first set of residents start their training in July,” Dr. LaBaere said.

NCOPPE invites doctors of osteopathic medicine (DO) and any interested allopathic physician to join the learning community whether it’s just to listen, learn, or contribute. Dr. LaBaere says that it really takes a village, and in the best care of patients, whole person healthcare, comes from connectedness with each other. 

“Consider becoming a part of NCOPPE if you desire to advance either your clinical skills or those as an osteopathic educator” Dr. LaBaere said. “This is a resource for anyone who is committed to their own lifelong learning and providing the best training for their residents.

If you would like to learn more about NCOPPE, please send an email to Dr. LaBaere or Dr. Jepson.


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