President Watson Honored with Two American Association of Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine Awards


The American Association of Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine (AACOM) has honored PNWU President Dr. Keith Watson with both the Dale Dodson Award and the Robert A. Kistner Award.  

Dr. Watson’s distinguished medical career has been shaped by his passion for addressing rural health care imbalances. Early in his profession, Dr. Watson observed the importance of general surgery in medically-underserved areas, recognizing the significant role that a quality medical education played in bridging the inequalities that existed. Dr. Watson’s dedication to OME has resulted in a long and illustrious career, filled with awards and accomplishments. 

Created in memory of American Osteopathic Association (AOA) past-President and osteopathic medical education (OME) innovator Dale S. Dodson, DO, the Dale Dodson Award recognizes a current or past CEO or CAO of an osteopathic medical college who has made significant contributions to the advancement and support of OME. The Robert A. Kistner Award is presented each year, also on behalf of the AACOM Board of Deans, to an individual who has made important contributions throughout his or her career to benefit and support OME.

Robert Sorrells, PhD | PNWU Associate Dean of Preclinical Education, PNWU-COM 

“From the first day Dr. Watson came on campus, he inspired me to think in an innovative way about the future of rural health care and how to prepare our students for that future. He has the swagger of a Texas cowboy coupled with the humility that exemplifies great leadership, so it comes as no surprise to me that he is the recipient of not one, but two awards for significant contributions to osteopathic education. I am privileged to work with him."

 Edward Bilsky, PhD | PNWU Provost and Chief Academic Officer

“The recognition by AACOM, which is the unifying voice for osteopathic medical education, is a well-deserved honor for Dr. Keith Watson. Keith has made significant contributions to the profession across decades of his career in his role as a surgeon, Medical Educator, associate dean and President. One of the major reasons I came to PNWU was being able to work under the leadership of President Watson and benefit from his mentorship. Receiving both of these rewards in the same year is an indicator of Keith’s accomplishments and the high level of respect he has among his peers.”

Stephen C. Shannon, DO, MPH | President and CEO of the American Association of Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine (AACOM)

“Dr. Watson leads by example in a way that embodies the essence of these awards, and powerfully demonstrates what it means to pay it forward to the next generation of physicians. His outstanding contributions to the advancement of osteopathic medical education (OME) is driven by a passion and commitment to serve the underserved, reduce health care inequity, and support the quality of physician workforce training that prepares the doctors of tomorrow. His work to strengthen and improve OME throughout his career has and will continue to inspire us, and we are proud to honor his legacy through these recognitions.”