AAO Mentorship Program

Established in 2011 by former SAAO Chair John Leuenberger, DO, the AAO mentorship program pairs osteopathic physicians with current osteopathic medical students to provide advice, guidance and support throughout the student's education.



  • Provide contact information to the student.
  • Reserve time to communicate with the student by mutually agreeable means.
  • Review the student's CV or personal statement and provide feedback about future career goals.
  • Offer information, guidance or reasonable assistance with questions or difficulties posed by the student.


  • Initiate contact with the mentor.
  • Provide CV or personal statement so the mentor can understand your background and career aspirations. The information will not be shared with anyone other than the mentor.
  • Make regular contact with the mentor -- four to six times per year is suggested. This includes telephone, email, Facebook and face-to-face conversations.


The mission of the AAO mentorship program (AAO-MP) is to provide guidance to members of the Student American Academy of Osteopathy (SAAO). The program was designed to help address the lack of osteopathic-specific education during clinical years and beyond by:

  • reaching out to osteopathic students early in their careers and providing a positive influence on their futures as osteopathic physicians.
  • providing educational and career guidance during the second and third years of osteopathic medical school when students are choosing hospital sites for rotations, selecting residencies and, ultimately, determining how the osteopathic philosophy can be incorporated into all aspects of medicine.

The mentor and protégé are encouraged to communicate several times during the year, using various forms of electronic communication as well as meeting face-to-face at Convocation or other national events. This relationship can start early in medical school and doesn't have to end after graduation. Each mentor/protégé pair can determine the extent and duration of the relationship as their careers evolve.

Physicians who become mentors will give back to the profession and help create a stronger osteopathic community with their influence on young osteopathic physicians. Mentors will have the opportunity to influence students at a critical time their careers. Although most students are at their osteopathic peak at the end of their second year of medical school, often they do not use osteopathic manipulative medicine (OMM) in during clinical rotations, and when they choose residencies that do not promote osteopathic principles, they are at a loss as to how to incorporate OMM into their practices. Mentors can help students find rotations or residencies that promote and practice osteopathic medicine, and they can advise protégés on how to incorporate OMM into their everyday practice.

Every osteopathic student and physician is strongly encouraged to participate in the AAO-MP. This is an excellent opportunity for students to become active proponents of osteopathy and for physicians to contribute to making the profession stronger. The matching of mentors and protégés is mainly based on specialty area, then, if possible, use of osteopathic cranial manipulative medicine and geographic location.

For more information or to enroll in the AAO mentorship program, email us at [email protected], or call (317) 879-1881.