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Student Advocate Association

The purpose of the Student Advocates Association (SAA) is to support and educate the spouses and partners of students studying osteopathic medicine. The advocates plan various educational and social programs for its members as well as fund-raisers for students and the University. SAA is also active in the schools around the United States. SAA’s often are involved in community planning, and many philanthropy projects supporting local children and non-profit organizations.

Apply for Special Projects Funding

Interested in applying for funding for a special project? Successful AAOA Special Project recipients are eligible for up to $3,000 in funding. Learn about Special Projects here.

Why start a SAA at your school?

The Student Advocates Association is a non-profit organization comprised of the spouses, significant others, family, and friends of Osteopathic Medical students. As a group, we provide services to the students as they face the challenges of medical school as well as services to the community while promoting the osteopathic profession. We also provide support and friendship to each other and encourage participation in social activities.

Who do I contact?

If you are interested in starting a SAA at your College of Osteopathic Medicine, please email the The SAA Liaison will provide you some guidance, contacts, forms, and help you with the process of starting a SAA at your school.

So What Next…??

  1. Contact your COM and inquire about making a student group.
  2. Read the SAA Guide and AAOA Bylaws SAA Highlights.
  3. Contact the AAOA SAA Liaison.
  4. Fill out the New Group form and membership list and return them to the AAOA.

Each Year SAA’s Should do the following:

  1. Send in membership to the AAOA using Dues Form and submit to and Please print form and send in with due’s $5.00/member for your SAA.
  2. When you change your by-laws, your by-laws must be electronically submitted to and They will go to our bylaw committee for approval.

Benefits for Being Part of the Advocates for the American Osteopathic Association.

  1. Opportunity to attend the annual AAOA House of Delegates meeting and also National SAA Workshop (usually held at OMED)
  2. Newsletters/Networking Nationally with other SAA Members and Medical Spouses/Significant others
  3. Your SAA chapter falls under the AAOA 501c3 status so will not need to obtain its own non-profit status with the IRS.
  4. Networking (Example: A former SAA member contacted our president and was able to help her husband find a job in the state they wanted to live in)
  5. Opportunities to learn more about Osteopathic Medicine, and advocate for the profession by serving on state and national Boards
  6. AAOA provides special grants/Donna Jones Mortitsugu to SAA’s groups. Please look here for details:
  7. AAOA also provides Financial Aid to SAA’s in special circumstances (Example:
    Donating bags/hats/shirts/pins to raffle off or to give away to their new members)
  8. More on networking: These are people you are going to be in touch throughout your significant other’s career, and it is a wonderful way to get to know people at different points in their careers within our profession from around the country
  9. Most importantly, the SAA chapters, along with the AAOA serve not only as a reminder that we are all in this together, but as one of the most valuable and long-lasting ways that OMS spouses and significant others can support each other when they need it the most, both during medical school and throughout their career.

Resource Links

  • SAA 2014–15 Guide pdf
    This document will give you ways to fulfill this mission of support and promotion of SAA. This is a resource of information which includes tips on starting your own chapter, ideas for raising funds and supporting philanthropy projects, and suggestions for increasing your membership. In the appendix, you will also find a variety of samples that you may copy and edit to use for your specific chapter’s purpose.
  • Blank Dues Form (Excel worksheet) pdf
  • New Group Membership Form word

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Join Us!

Here’s your chance to help give back! Connecting with other members of the osteopathic family through the AAOA is fun, rewarding. You have opportunities to support the osteopathic profession and to share in common interests and activities.

Who We Are

We are spouses, partners, parents and true believers of the osteopathic profession. The mission of the Advocates for the American Osteopathic Association is to support and promote the osteopathic profession. Although we have a long history, our organization is as essential and relevant as ever before.

AAOA offers numerous ways for members to participate. We encourage all levels of involvement on local, state and national levels. There are opportunities for committee membership, Board membership, and local-level outreach and support. Your involvement in just one event a year matters. Let us know your interest, and we’ll match you up.

Student Spouses/Partners: Being the partner of a medical student isn’t always easy. Membership in the AAOA connects you to support from across the country. For more information click here.

Interns and Resident Spouses/Partners: Not sure where to start down your residency journey after leaving campus? Joining the Advocates will connect you to hundreds in the osteopathic family across the country to help you with your journey in osteopathic medicine. For more information click here.

What We Do

A few highlights from our 2015 activities:

  • Suicide prevention awareness through the Yellow Ribbon Program
  • $2,500 in SOMA Scholarships of $500 each to 5 medical students in their first year who demonstrate leadership skills
  • Student Advocates Association (SAA) monetary support of $7,500 annually as well as numerous outreach efforts
  • In addition to the Annual House of Delegates meeting during the OMED convention, we hold a Fun Run, Golf Tournament and various social events

What Happens When I Join?

Membership in the Advocates is more than simply paying annual dues, it’s a pledge. It’s a commitment to promoting and supporting the profession in every way you can. It’s about advocating on behalf of osteopathic physicians, their patients, their friends, and their families. It’s about strengthening ties and being involved. Advocates are the people who are there, behind the scenes and in front of the crowd, in offices and in homes and in communities, supporting osteopathic medicine. We are the people behind the profession.

Our mission is to support and promote the osteopathic profession. Our Advocate network is vast, ranging from physicians, to friends, to office staff. We cover the globe, creating a strong, close network of people who understand that osteopathic medicine isn’t a trend or a passing fad, but the best type of medical care possible.

Join Now!

Your membership matters to the health of the osteopathic profession.

Membership Form

  • Please fill out the information below to join the AAOA.


Step Two: Select an option below to pay your yearly dues (Membership dues are applied to the current fiscal year, June 1 to May 31).

You can also join by filling out and returning the Membership form.

Have other questions? Please contact:

Lawrence Cunningham, Affiliate Executive
Telephone: 312.202.8064
Advocates National Office
142 E. Ontario St.
Chicago, IL 60611-2864