With 60% of osteopathic students now members of the iO, we have created a new committee with student representatives from each of the undergraduate colleges.
The iO Student Committee met virtually for the first time in December. Chaired by iO CEO Maurice Cheng, and welcomed by iO President Susan Farwell, we heard the views of students about the iO and began discussions on the priorities and support that students are seeking to enable them to have successful careers as osteopaths.
Maurice said at the meeting:
“It is important that the iO has a means of listening to the views of those that are the future of the profession. We need to understand their aspirations for their osteopathic careers, which will shape our work to support and develop opportunities for the profession.
“We will be consulting with this committee about current and future iO strategies and plans, and seeking their input to inform our actions. The committee will be a new and important arm of the iO’s governance, with its views reporting directly to the iO Council.”
“We hope it will also be a start for increased collaboration between the student bodies of all the colleges.”
At the first meeting, common themes emerged from the representatives on the impact of COVID on their education, and natural concerns about employment opportunities in a post-pandemic world.
Encouragingly, we were able to provide reassurance that despite the adaptations that osteopaths have had to make in the last nine months, patient demand for osteopathy remains high, with new patient numbers reportedly growing.
The committee discussed additional areas of support for the iO consider. One key area was early career support in the form of mentoring, which is now available through the iO’s mentor matching website, launched earlier this year.
The committee will meet quarterly and a representative from the Student Committee will also be asked to regularly join as an observer to full iO Council meetings.
Who is your representative?
Click here for details of the iO Student Committee representative from each college.