In 1953 three physicians created NOMA to advocate for the practice rights of and to provide continuing medical education for doctors of osteopathy. The mission of The Association today remains reflective of the mission of our founders.
The Association is the collective voice for D.O.s in the Nevada state legislature, in addition to various boards and commissions, and works with the American Osteopathic Association on national issues.
Continuing medical education remains a focus and opportunities to participate are made available through a variety of meeting opportunities such as the Winter Medical Symposium, our Annual Convention and the One Day Series.
NOMA was begun in 1953 by three visionary physicians, Thomas McCleary, DO, Oliver Shelkshon, DO and a third unnamed physician in Reno, NV. Their purpose was to provide CME in Nevada and to defend their practice rights in the Nevada Legislature. They met in Dr. McCleary’s kitchen to form NOMA. Many hospital’s bylaws did not allow osteopathic physicians privileges. As panels were developed in the beginnings of HMOs, osteopathic physicians were not allowed on or were removed if an MD became available to fill their position. One Nevada State Senator made remarks to the effect that although they were not really doctors, DOs would be given the honor of being addressed as Doctor.
NOMA physician leaders worked tirelessly on all these issues and more. They made great headway and developed a DO fraternity in both northern and southern Nevada. In 1995 with the help of the AOA, NOMA employed Floyd Smith to review and transition NOMA to a paid executive staff. The first professional executive director was hired. The Association began a membership drive in northern Nevada to boost membership and to catch up with the membership growth in southern Nevada. With the assistance of the Nevada State Board of Osteopathic Medicine executive director, Larry Tarno, DO and staff, NOMA members were identified.
Through monthly events and the development of the CME programs, NOMA kept growing. The association went from one to three to six representatives in the AOA House of Delegates. Touro University Nevada College of Osteopathic Medicine opened and secured over 90 residencies, and Nevada DOs were working in every hospital in Nevada. NOMA had secured the help of a full time lobbyist and the advocacy became a part of what membership in NOMA entailed.
NOMA continues to be part of the change that is medicine today. Working for physicians in the capital, representing Nevada to the AOA, and striving to increase access to quality CME all fulfill NOMA’s 60 year mission. All osteopathic physicians are invited to be part of the progress begun in 1953 at a kitchen table. We strive to be your organization, working to make medicine better for patients and physicians.