We are proud to recognize Erin Kay Jefferson, DO, as the recipient of this innovative research grant.

Dr. Jefferson graduated from Indiana University Bloomington in 2007. She earned her DO degree from Midwestern University/Chicago College of Osteopathic Medicine in 2011 and completed residency training at the Fort Wayne Medical Education Program in 2014, where she served as both Curricular Co-Chief and Co-Chief Resident.

After five years in clinical practice, Dr. Jefferson returned to the Fort Wayne Medical Education Program as Medical Director and Associate Program Director. This new role combines her passions for academic medicine and medical education. She says she is “enthusiastic about returning to a teaching environment that will foster both clinical acumen and compassionate care.” Notably, it also enables more research opportunities, like the project funded through this grant.

Dr. Jefferson’s 18-month research project titled Assessing the Impact of Physician Pain on Motivation to Provide Longitudinal Osteopathic Manipulative Therapy to Patients and its Correlation to Opioid Prescribing, is examining health and wellness in physicians providing OMT to pain patients.

Providing OMT to patients impacts the physician providing the service, especially for the type of long-term OMT treatments needed to be an effective replacement for opioids and other painkillers, and physicians are often less able to take the time away from practice to address their own physical health needs. Dr. Jefferson’s project is observing physicians’ pain levels from offering OMT and how this affects whether they offer OMT as a non-pharmacological intervention for treating pain. The study posits that purposefully attending to physicians’ physical health will improve their motivation to offer OMT, reduce their pain and reduce their opioid prescribing.