SAAO New Chapter Information

Each college of osteopathic medicine in the U.S. has a chapter of the Student American Academy of Osteopathy (SAAO). New chapters are founded by the inaugural class at each new college of osteopathic medicine. Each chapter must complete the following five requirements to be recognized by the SAAO and the AAO:

  1. Establish a chapter board, consisting of at least a president, national representative and a secretary-treasurer.
  2. Appoint a chapter advisor. The advisor must be a member of the AAO.
  3. Agree to the SAAO bylaws found in the SAAO Chapter Notebook. Print the bylaws on your college’s letterhead, have them signed by two chapter officers and the chapter advisor, and send the signed bylaws to the SAAO national coordinator. These bylaws will serve as official documentation stating that the new SAAO chapter will abide by the SAAO bylaws. Chapters may establish additional bylaws pertaining to local chapter operation and specific needs, but chapter bylaws may not contradict the SAAO bylaws.
  4. Use the SAAO Chapter Notebook as your guide to recruit chapter members, organize chapter activities, meet required deadlines and develop your chapter’s annual report.
  5. At least two chapter officers should attend Convocation and present your chapter’s annual report at the Wednesday business meeting.

New chapters are officially welcomed and recognized upon submitting an annual report at the annual SAAO Board of Governors' meeting held at the AAO Convocation.


Each new chapter is required to send two officers to the SAAO's annual business meeting at Convocation to present their annual report. This meeting is usually held on Wednesday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. These brief presentation allow local chapter leadership to learn and share their events and ideas with each other to help develop curriculum and fundraising events sponsored by SAAO throughout the year.

SAAO members from all chapters are allowed and encouraged to run for positions on the SAAO Executive Council. 


The SAAO strongly encourages communication between chapters and the National SAAO Executive Council, as well as with the SAAO liaison within the AAO staff. The preferred chain of communication is to begin with the local chapter National Coordinator, who may direct further questions to the Executive Council National Coordinator, The Executive Council National Coordinator can also facilitate communication between individual chapters if need be.

Upon receiving notification that a new chapter’s signed bylaws have been submitted to the Executive Council National Coordinator, they will create a Gmail account for the new chapter. The Gmail account can be used to communicate with the SAAO National Executive Council and other chapters, and can also be used to access documents placed on Google Drive. The login credentials for the Gmail account should be passed down to new SAAO chapter officers by current chapter officers, such that each chapter maintains a consistent email address as years and leaders change.

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