Mekkin Lynch, DO succeeds her mentor as president of the MOS
By MOS Staff

Mekkin Lynch, DO will follow in her mentor’s footsteps as President of the Massachusetts Osteopathic Society. Succeeding her teacher, William Foley, DO as leader of the state society will pose many unique challenges, but Lynch says she’s well prepared thanks to his tutelage and encouragement. Lynch’s presidency began in August 2017 taking over for Dr. Foley who led the organization for 4 years.

Dr. Lynch, a Cambridge native and UNECOM alumnus, served under Dr. Foley in residency at Boston University Medical Center where she completed rotations last year. Now a Family Medicine Instructor at BU Medical Center, Dr. Lynch is living her dream of working and learning in the osteopathic profession.

In the very beginning why did you decide to practice medicine?
When I was a teenager I injured my back playing soccer. A doctor gave me some news about it in a way that was not particularly kind. He was like, “Ah, I knew it!” And I thought that’s not a good way to approach delivering bad news to a person. I can do this better than you. I thought I’d like to help people and use my people skills.

And why Osteopathic Medicine?
I studied engineering for a while and thought I could get away from medicine. But I decided that I really want to connect more with people. In engineering I was helping people as well but too removed. I went back after undergrad and took classes in medicine.

I hadn’t heard about osteopathic medicine until I was in undergrad and someone came and gave a presentation. I thought it sounded very interesting.

Why did you first decide to get involved with MOS?
I first learned about MOS during my rotation, working for my mentor (MOS Immediate Past President) Dr. William Foley. I did my rotation with him as a med student and as a resident. He said the society was looking for a resident member to serve on the board and asked if I was interested. I decided to go for it and I served as a trustee for a year and a half.

Why did you decide to pursue a leadership position with MOS?
Again, it was Dr. Foley who asked me if I would consider serving as the president. He really encouraged me to take on the position and I decided I could accomplish a lot of things as president. Dr. Foley has done amazing things for the MOS and for osteopathic medicine in Massachusetts so really my primary challenge is to keep doing the things that made the society successful under his leadership.

You have some big shoes to fill!
Dr. Foley is a wonderful teacher. I still ask him questions about patients. It’s as if I still have him over my shoulder all the time when I’m treating people because I feel like he has all the answers. He is really talented and he has been a really great mentor and teacher for me.

As a leader, he is really clear about goals and what needs to be done. He’s a very direct communicator.

Now that you’re President, what are your goals and aspirations for the society?
Increasing membership, obviously because with greater numbers comes greater reach. But really it’s about protecting osteopathic medicine. I think that needs to start legislatively. We don’t even have OMM and OMT defined in our legislature. So we can’t protect ourselves if we don’t even have that definition.

What challenges does the osteopathic community have to overcome in Massachusetts?
I do feel like most of the time I’m doing family medicine with Osteopathic Manipulation in Boston, where nobody really knows what I’m doing. People are coming and they’re getting better so it’s really nice to be able to open people’s eyes to OMM and what we can do.