Dr. John Paulson named AACOM Osteopathic Health Policy Fellow

Nov 12, 2019

John Paulson, DO, PhD, FAAFP, spends his days leading the primary care faculty team and teaching medical students at Kansas City University’s Joplin, Mo., campus (KCU-Joplin). This fall, he takes on an additional role, studying osteopathic health policy as a fellow.

He was recently accepted into the Osteopathic Health Policy Fellowship (OHPF), offered through the American Association of Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine (AACOM) Leadership Institute. The fellowship is a yearlong leadership training program designed to prepare emerging leaders in the osteopathic profession to engage in health policy discussions, analysis, and formulation. Participants of the program study a variety of health topics and issues including federal and state health policy, workforce and health equity, population health, and rural and urban health policies.

“We are learning about the intersection of policy and politics, and how to address opposing sides of an issue while working to accomplish a common goal,” said Paulson. “An important part of the process is bringing the two sides together and identifying what they agree on. Sometimes, I think we focus so intently on what we disagree on that we overlook all of the things that we actually do agree on.”

The OHPF is a highly competitive program that accepts only 12 fellows per year. According to AACOM, applicants are expected to demonstrate five or more years of experience in professional settings in addition to their practice, and have a career-long interest in health policy.

Paulson says the skills that he’s learning through the fellowship will help him advocate for students, patients, medical education and the Joplin community.

“Through this program, we are learning to navigate the intricacies of health policy and population health, both of which are the future of medicine,” said Paulson. “I’m learning how to identify and write policies that benefit patients, students, and the community as a whole. I hope to bring this knowledge back to Joplin and put it into practice to benefit our students as well as the community that has so graciously welcomed and supported KCU.”

Paulson serves as the primary care department chair and assistant professor of primary care at KCU-Joplin.  He is board-certified in family medicine and is a fellow of the American Academy of Family Physicians. He currently serves as the president-elect of the Missouri Academy of Family Physicians, and has served on the MAFP board of directors for approximately 13 years.

 “Dr. Paulson is a wonderful mentor and role model for all of our students at KCU, and the osteopathic community is blessed to have him as an advocate to our profession,” said Laura Rosch, DO, KCU-Joplin Campus Dean. “Dr. Paulson’s advocacy training will serve to further our mission of improving the well-being of our community as he helps prepare our future doctors to care for their communities.”

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