American Osteopathic Association

Advancing the distinctive philosophy and practice of osteopathic medicine

Osteopathic Heroes and Guardians

​Guardians of the Profession

A Guardian of the Profession is an osteopathic physician who advances the culture of osteopathic medicine by having served in a local, state or national osteopathic leadership role. A Guardian also demonstrates a strong sense of pride in the osteopathic medical profession and works actively to advance osteopathic medicine with colleagues and the general public.


Unsung Heroes

​An Unsung Hero is an osteopathic physician who has enhanced the image of osteopathic medicine by living each day as an example of what an osteopathic physician should be. Serving as an outstanding physician and role model, he or she enhances our profession, creates opportunities for current and future DOs, and instills pride in being a DO and a member of the AOA.


Champions of the Profession

A Champion of the Profession is a supporter of the osteopathic medical profession who is not a DO, but who has helped make the profession what it is today. This new category, approved by the Strategic Planning Committee in October 2013, identifies and recognizes the distinctive contributions made by dedicated leaders who do not have DO degrees.



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