Anthony DiMarco, D.O., Managing Physician at LGHP -- Parkesburg Family Medicine, will serve as President of the Pennsylvania Osteopathic Medical Association.

For Anthony DiMarco, D.O., practicing medicine is a family tradition.

So is serving as president of the Pennsylvania Osteopathic Medical Association.

Dr. DiMarco, Managing Physician at LGHP -- Parkesburg Family Medicine, begins his term this spring as president of POMA, a 100-year-old organization that represents about 5,500 osteopathic physicians.

A native Philadelphian, Dr. DiMarco is the youngest of four brothers, who are all D.O.s, including two ophthalmologists and an ear, nose and throat specialist. (“I tell them I’m the real doctor,” he jokes.)

Soon after Dr. DiMarco graduated from LaSalle University and Pennsylvania College of Osteopathic Medicine, his oldest brother Carlo suggested he stop complaining about his new profession and join POMA instead. Carlo DiMarco served as president of both POMA and the American Osteopathic Association before his death in 2014.

Dr. DiMarco’s now decades-long involvement with POMA includes serving as Vice President, Speaker of the House of Delegates, and other regional and statewide leadership roles. He also served as Medical Staff President at Crozer-Chester Medical Center, where he practiced for 25 years.

Dr. DiMarco, who oversees both the primary and urgent care practices at Parkesburg, joined LG Health in 2013. He initially faced many staffing challenges.

“We were short-handed for a while, and that was tough,” he said. “I was working 70-hour weeks. It took us 1½ years to get fully staffed. I’m proud to say that Urgent Care never closed for one minute (during normal business hours) in that time. We didn’t even leave early.”

Dr. DiMarco believes in inclusiveness and cooperation, whether it’s between the Pennsylvania Medical Society and POMA, M.D.s and D.O.s, primary care physicians and specialists, or physicians and APPs. About 20 percent of physicians who graduate each year is an osteopath, he said, and more than 50 percent of those new D.O.s will work in primary care.

“In past years, there was a divisiveness between M.D.s and D.O.s,” Dr. DiMarco said. “Today if you look at our Medical Staff, there’s an inclusiveness.”

Though they are two distinct organizations, PA MED and POMA share similar goals and agree on many of the major issues, such as healthcare reform and the role of nurse practitioners, he said. By working together, the two groups can achieve greater influence.

Dr. DiMarco’s major goals as POMA president include involving more young physicians. He plans to reach out to students newly accepted at the state’s osteopathic medical schools with a congratulations letter and invitation to join POMA.

“It’s harder and harder to engage younger docs,” he said. “They often have trouble seeing the value of belonging to a medical organization.”

Dr. DiMarco also wants POMA’s board to serve as more than a rubber stamp.

“I want them to debate, to argue and take positions,” he said. “You’re a better leader if you just sit back and listen to everyone else for a while.”

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