The American Academy of Osteopathy was founded in 1937, and then in 1949, Drs. George W. and Thomas L. Northup met with Dr. Angus Cathie and initiated the first student AAO group. In order to accord increased recognition to the groups of inquiring students, the bylaws of the AAO were amended at the annual meeting in Chicago, July 1959, to provide status for the Undergraduate Academies as Component Societies of the Academy of Applied Osteopathy (now the American Academy of Osteopathy).
In 1982, the forerunners of the current SAAO council wanted to provide a vehicle for communication among the colleges and the AAO. They also felt it would be more beneficial to unite the student component societies under one cohesive voice. Today, there is an active SAAO membership of over 5,000 members under the guidance of the Academy.
We wish to thank the local chapter advisors and the American Academy of Osteopathy for their ongoing support and dedication. Without their guidance and direction, this organization would not be as successful as it is today. Many former SAAO members have gone on to leadership roles in the Academy.
The Student American Academy of Osteopathy (SAAO), formerly UAAO, has been organized by students of the accredited U.S. osteopathic medical colleges under the auspices and guidance of the American Academy of Osteopathy (AAO) for the purposes of helping osteopathic medical students:
2. to improve public awareness of osteopathic medicine so that the community may better take advantage of the benefits provided by the complete health care concept of osteopathic medicine.
Any student of an American Osteopathic Association-accredited osteopathic medical school, or an osteopathic medical school pending AOA accreditation, may become a member of the SAAO through their local campus organization.
The Student Osteopathic Medical Association (SOMA) developed an outreach program with the purpose of educating prospective osteopathic medical students and the public as to our unique osteopathic heritage.
Our generation is in a unique position to define and communicate our professional identity to the world, one conversation at a time. The Osteopathic Outreach Program encourages first- and second-year students to present osteopathic philosophy and principles (OPP) to local audiences. Students have the opportunity to develop their public speaking skills while learning one way to answer that often heard question: "What is a D.O.?"
Chapters are encouraged to give an OPP presentation and provide a demonstration for interested groups. Audiences may include pre-med clubs at area colleges, health clubs or wellness centers.
Membership in the SAAO costs $50, and it expires upon graduation.
The American Academy of Osteopathy (AAO) has awarded the 2021 Andrew Taylor Still Medallion of Honor to John M. Jones, DO, of Petal, Mississippi.
Walter C. Ehrenfeuchter, DO, FAAO, of Suwanee, Georgia, received the Fellow of American Academy of Osteopathy Distinguished (FAAO) Service Award.