AAO Code of Conduct

Code of Conduct

All attendees, speakers, sponsors and volunteers at all events held by the American Academy of Osteopathy are required to agree with the following code of conduct. Organizers will enforce this code throughout the event. We expect cooperation from all participants to help ensure a safe environment for everybody.

Need Help?
To report harassment or professional impropriety during an AAO-sponsored event, call or text 317-669-3580.

The Quick Version
The AAO is dedicated to providing a harassment-free experience for everyone, regardless of age, body size, disability, ethnicity, gender, gender identity and expression, physical appearance, race, religion (or lack thereof), sexual orientation, or technology choices. We do not tolerate harassment of staff, attendees or guests in any form. Sexual language and imagery are not appropriate for any conference venue, including talks, workshops, parties, Twitter and other online media. Conference participants violating these rules may be sanctioned or expelled from the event without a refund at the discretion of the AAO leadership.

The Less Quick Version
Harassment includes offensive verbal comments related to age, body size, disability, ethnicity, gender, gender identity and expression, physical appearance, race, religion (or lack thereof), sexual orientation, technology choices, sexual images in public spaces, deliberate intimidation, stalking, following, harassing photography or recording, sustained disruption of talks or other events, inappropriate physical contact, and unwelcome sexual attention.

Participants asked to stop any harassing behavior are expected to comply immediately.

Sponsors are also subject to the anti-harassment policy. In particular, sponsors should not use sexualized images, activities, or other material. Booth staff (including volunteers) should not use sexualized clothing/uniforms/costumes, or otherwise create a sexualized environment.

If a participant engages in harassing behavior, the AAO staff and/or leadership may take any action they deem appropriate, including warning the offender or expulsion from the conference with no refund.

If you are being harassed, notice that someone else is being harassed, or have any other concerns, please call or text 317-669-3580 immediately.

Conference staff will be happy to help participants contact hotel/venue security or local law enforcement, provide escorts, or otherwise assist those experiencing harassment to feel safe for the duration of the conference. We value your attendance.

We expect participants to follow these rules at all sessions or meetings taking place during AAO-sponsored events. 

Participation Etiquette

For physicians

  • Have fun with explaining your diagnosis and treatment approach! Remember you are here to teach and demonstrate osteopathic treatment.
  • Make sure that the participants and observers know that participation is voluntary and that the participants can decline at any time.
  • Explain what you are going to do before you do it.
  • Osteopathic manipulative medicine is not without effects and possible side effects. If a participation causes a reaction, make sure that the participant is taken care of and has follow-up as needed.
  • Don’t ask sensitive questions of your participant (e.g., a detailed trauma history) in front of observers—if something needs to be asked to take better care of the participant, then this can be done privately, such as in the Osteopathic Education Service.
  • Do not make inappropriate comments (e.g., jokes with sexual overtones or about race or gender or sexual orientation or body type, a protected class, etc.).

For students

  • Have fun with observing different clinicians’ styles.
  • If observing or participating in a demonstration, feel free to ask questions unless the physician requests questions after a demonstration.
  • Participants have a right to decline any part of a demonstration with which they may feel uncomfortable.
  • If you notice a reaction after your participation, please let your clinician know so that he/she may help to resolve any issue.

Updated Feb. 19, 2019

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