Dr. Goree:

When I received the William G. Anderson, DO, Minority Scholarship at the American Osteopathic Foundation Honors Gala in 2019, I had the pleasure of meeting Dr. Anderson in person.

Being able to meet the legend for whom the award is named was inspiring beyond words. He, of course, is a force; an absolutely outstanding pioneer of Osteopathic medicine, a leader and an example not only for rising minority physicians, but the medical profession in its entirety.

I am deeply honored to be a recipient of the award that bears his name.

When I received the scholarship, I was an OMS-II and it helped fund book purchases and living expenses during financially strained times for my family and I. The award encouraged me to continue my journey of becoming a DO.

Today, I am a PGY-III Emergency Medicine Resident in Norman, OK. As a DO in Emergency Medicine, I extend Osteopathic principles to my patients on the front line by showing compassion and treating mind, body and spirit. Not only do I treat my patients’ physical ailments from a medical perspective, but I also focus on social determinants that strongly affect their health as well.

I’m also currently in the Training in Policy Studies (TIPS) fellowship program sponsored by the American Osteopathic Foundation. TIPS provides residents like me with a deeper understanding of current health care policy issues and training in effective techniques for writing health policy briefs, white papers and even oral testimony. Because of the AOF, I’ve been able to grow my practice as an Osteopathic physician through the TIPS Fellowship, and provide personalized comprehensive, excellent care to my patients.

AOF: We’re grateful to have been able to support you on your journey. What initially drew you to the field of Osteopathic medicine?

Dr. Goree:

The idea of fixing the root of a problem made sense to me.

Mind, body, and spirit all coexist as one unit, and treating them as a unit to improve a patient’s overall health both resonated with me and inspired me to become part of a legacy that treats and advocates for every aspect of patients’ lives.

As Osteopathic physicians, we strive to not only treat the chief complaint, but the whole person. If someone with diabetes presents with poorly controlled glucose levels, not only will we provide the medical treatment needed to address the problem, but we’ll also dig deeper to discover the underlying cause: Are the medications ineffective and need to be changed or adjusted? Is the patient compliant with their medication? If not, why aren’t they taking it? Did they run out...if so why? Did they forget? Is work too demanding and they don’t have time to pick up the medicine? Do they have transportation to the store? Do they have the means to purchase the medicine?

We ask questions – a lot of questions – to really get to know a patient and use the history we gain from the patient to help get them the resources they need to be healthy. I love this about our practice. I am so proud to be a D.O.

I’m able to ensure that practical resources are provided to my patients who may need help coordinating future appointments with primary care and specialist physicians, transportation to these appointments, assistance with food and shelter, and behavioral health services, to name a few.

My Osteopathic training elevates the care I provide to my patients and helps ensure they have the best outcomes.

AOF: What are some of the obstacles that support from the American Osteopathic Foundation has helped you overcome?

Dr. Goree:

Medical school was definitely a financially humbling time. Living primarily on school loans with a family often proved difficult. The William G. Anderson, DO scholarship was a pivotal financial blessing.

Additionally, the American Osteopathic Foundation has provided networking opportunities with a vast number of leaders within the profession, allowing me to gain invaluable knowledge from their past experiences.

They helped me learn and understand the importance of how to navigate the process of effecting change at the national level for the Osteopathic profession, a skill I plan to continue developing throughout my professional career.

AOF: How do you think the AOF can best support the next generation of Osteopathic physicians?

The American Osteopathic Foundation is doing phenomenal work supporting rising physicians and recognizing those in the profession who are moving the needle in Osteopathic medicine.

As much as the AOF has been a blessing and influence in my career, the AOF continues to provide scholarships and mentorship to the next generation of Osteopathic physicians which I’m certain will prove invaluable to them as well.

Thank you AOF for being so amazing. Thank you for investing into the future!

At the American Osteopathic Foundation, it’s our privilege to encourage and invest in future leaders like Dr. Goree, whose work on the front lines of emergency medicine ensures patients in dire need receive the benefit of Osteopathic principles and whole-person care.

To learn more about how you can engage with the Foundation - as a DO, a grant reviewer, a mentor, or a donor - visit aof.org .

Together, we can continue to elevate Osteopathic medicine and the dedicated DOs who provide it.