Aug. 8, 2012
Information collection and use
The AOA is the sole owner of the information collected on The DO. We will not sell, share, or rent this information to others in ways different from what is disclosed in this statement.
Personal information collectection and use
“Personally Identifiable Information” (PII) refers to any information that identifies or can be used to identify or contact the person. This includes, but is not limited to, name, address, e-mail address, telephone number, and similar data.
The AOA does not collect PII about you except when you provide the information on a voluntary basis. The AOA collects the PII that you provide. The AOA may use the PII provided by you to conduct research, to improve this site, and to provide services to you. The AOA will disclose your PII to third parties when necessary for the provision of services to you, for the protection of others, and when required by law.
Aggregate information is information in summary form that does not contain PII. The AOA uses and allows third parties to use aggregate information to aid in the development or implementation of programs, products and services.
You can opt out of the targeted advertising delivered by us and our affiliates by requesting an “opt-out” cookie to prevent information from being uniquely associated with your browser. Opting out of our targeting and advertisements will not prevent you from receiving advertising from other online advertisers.
Credit card account information
AOA does not disclose credit card account information provided by its members and customers. When members and customers choose to pay using their credit cards, AOA submits the information needed to obtain payment to the appropriate clearinghouse.
A cookie is a piece of data stored on the user’s hard drive which allows organizations to collect non-PII about the user’s use of a site. Once the user closes the browser, most cookies simply terminate. If you log in to the members-only area of Osteopathic.org, a short string of code is sent to your computer’s memory. This “session-based” cookie lets us know you already entered your password as you go to different pages on the site. If you do not use the password-protected parts of the site, you may block this session cookie and still use the rest of Osteopathic.org with no problems. If you register for DO Jobs Online, or DOCME online, a cookie will be set to recognize your preferences when you return to the site. If you block this cookie, you can still use the site.
The AOA uses IP addresses (ie, information that identifies the location of computers or networks on the Internet that are accessing this website) to analyze trends, administer the site, track a user’s movements through the site, and gather broad information for aggregate use. IP addresses are not linked to PII.
Links and suggested resources
From time to time, you may see a survey on The DO. Participation in these surveys is completely voluntary; the user therefore has a choice whether or not to disclose this information.
The AOA uses IP addresses (ie, information that identifies the location of computers or networks on the Internet that are accessing this Web site) to analyze trends, administer the site, track a user’s movements through the site, and gather broad information for aggregate use. IP addresses are not linked to PII.
Notification of changes
AOA physician data policy
The AOA has promoted osteopathic medicine for over a century. The AOA is the major source of information about osteopathic medicine and the important role of osteopathic physicians. Shortly after it was founded, the AOA conducted its first census of the osteopathic medical profession and published the results in its first directory. The AOA has now organized its unique data resources into the AOA Masterfile, and will continue to use its data to promote this important profession. The AOA collects data on all osteopathic medical students and osteopathic physicians, including those who are not AOA members. Osteopathic physicians are physicians who have graduated from medical schools accredited by the AOA. Each physician’s record includes demographic, osteopathic medical school, postgraduate, and current practice information. Demographic information includes sex, date of birth, mailing addres,s and other contact information. Current practice information includes type of practice, self-identified specialty, licensure, and AOA board certification. Physicians may also ask the AOA to verify certain types of nonosteopathic postgraduate medical education, which then becomes part of their physician record. The AOA obtains educational information only from primary sources. It obtains demographic information from osteopathic medical schools. The AOA also obtains address information from commercial sources and from other members of the osteopathic family, which includes osteopathic medical schools, state associations, and specialty colleges. The AOA also collects data on those who are not DOs but who are members of the AOA, such as auxiliary members and associate members. The AOA Masterfile documents trends in the osteopathic medical profession and the important role osteopathic physicians serve in health care. It benefits the practicing physician by providing an easy way for the public, hospitals, and licensing boards to verify credentials. While data verification and authentication are the Masterfile’s primary purpose, the AOA shares limited information with other members of the osteopathic family and licenses portions of its Masterfile to selected licensees. Both operate under carefully restricted information usage agreements. The AOA does not release home addresses to licensees when we have a business address. Licensees work with many health care-related companies that offer a wide range of products and services for physicians and the larger medical community. They include:
- medical and professional journals
- drug recall and safety information
- continuing medical education programs
- physician credential verification services
- drug samples and pharmaceutical information
- medical equipment and supplies
- employment opportunities
- general practice-related commercial offers of interest to physicians as consumers
The AOA takes every precaution to protect our information. We use SSL encryption to protect information online. We also do everything in our power to protect our database off-line. All information is restricted in our offices. Employees must use password-protected screens when they enter the database. The server we store personally identifiable information on is kept in a secure environment. We obtain educational information only from primary sources, and the ability to change any information in the Masterfile is restricted to a small number of employees.
Physicians may direct the AOA to take any of the following actions:
- exclude them from all of the following:
- the online AOA directory (including the members-only section)
- JAOA mailings
- special publications
This option permits the AOA to contact the physician, but the AOA will not share any contact information with other members of the osteopathic family, or with its licensees, which is the basis for receiving most of their products and services, including journals, new product announcements, information about health hazards, and information about drug recalls.
- not release physician-provided information
This option means that the AOA will not release any physician-provided information to licensees or other osteopathic organizations. This non-release includes physician-provided information used to announce drug recalls and health hazards, information given to state licensing agencies, and agencies verifying credentials such as hospitals and physician groups. These physicians will also be excluded from the AOA Directory and will not receive the JAOA or any AOA special publications.
The AOA invites you to contact the Member Service Center at (800) 621-1773, ext. 1, to change your contact status. These changes become effective immediately.