Improving global prehospital and emergency medicine, public health, and disaster health care and preparedness

Osteopathic Physician

The establishment of the Osteopathic Physician Special Interest Section was approved by the WADEM Board of Directors in December 2010. The section is open to all members of WADEM in good standing.

Mission & Vision

Mission: To pursue academic excellence in international disaster preparedness, response, recovery, development, prevention, and mitigation.

Vision: To expand the role of the osteopathic physician in global health and humanitarian assistance.


The objectives of the Osteopathic Physician SIG are:

  • Share WADEM's "best practices" and "lessons learned" with universities and colleges of Osteopathic Medicine;
  • Increase WADEM membership through the recruitment of physicians, nurses, and allied health professionals;
  • Strengthen civil-military relationships through training and education;
  • Invest in the future through the mentoring of students.


David Canton, DO, MPH, JD (CAPT, USPHS, ret)
Originally from Missouri, Dr. Canton earned a DO at Kansas City University of Health Sciences on an Army scholarship. In 1988, he completed a family practice residency at Southern Illinois University, and in 1999 he concluded both an MPH and a fellowship in Occupational and Environmental Medicine at the University of Washington in Seattle. Dr. Canton added JD to his CV in 2004, after graduating from Concord University School of Law in LA and passing the bar. In 1990, he was a flight surgeon and part of the first Army medical unit deployed to Saudi Arabia as part of Desert Storm. He left the Army in 1992 to transfer to the Coast Guard. During his years in the Coast Guard, Dr. Canton was the Chief of Health and Safety in New Orleans, a flight surgeon and staff physician in Port Angeles, Washington, and the Chief of Operational Medicine for the US Coast Guard Atlantic Area, where he provided professional oversight for 25 clinics with 150 providers and assets in Iraq, Kuwait, and Puerto Rico. For nearly three years, Dr. Canton was Chief Medical Officer for the National Disaster Medical System (NDMS) in Washington, DC, part of the US Department of Health and Human Services. In 2005, while Dr. Canton served as Chief Medical Officer, NDMS had as many as 30 sites set up along the Gulf coast to provide care for victims of Hurricane Katrina. Over the course of several months, the teams treated over 180,000 patients across the hurricane ravaged South. Having retired from uniformed Federal Service, Dr. Canton is currently serving as Vice President for Medical Affairs at Emanuel Medical Center in Turlock, CA. He also serves as the Medical Director for the Stanislaus County Medical Reserve Corps.
William Bograkos, MA, DO, FACOEP (COL, MC, FS, USA, ret)
Dr. Bograkos received his Disaster and CBRNE training during his 28 years of military service. He has served both the Army and the U.S. Air Force as a military Flight Surgeon and Family Practice and Emergency Medicine physician. Dr. Bograkos served with a Special Operations WMD Detachment prior to and during the Millennium. He served in the Balkans as a Division Surgeon, NATO Multi-national Peacekeeper from September 2001 to April 2002. He chaired the U.S. Special Operations Command's (SOF EMT-P) Curriculum Examination Board for the Advanced Tactical Practitioner from 2004 to 2006. He served in the Pentagon's Civil Military Emergency Preparedness office as a Bioterrorism/ Medical Consultant for the Black Sea Initiative and briefed at the First Interpol Global Conference on Preventing Bioterrorism in Lyon, France (2005). He has lectured on CBRNE terrorism and Disaster Preparedness in Bosnia-Herzegovina (Peacekeeping), in Estonia (State Partnership Program), in the Netherlands (Dutch Urban Warfare Seminar). He has given presentations to the Special Operations Medical Association, and for various law enforcement agencies. He has been an Instructor with the National Center for Biomedical Research and Training since 2002 and served as the Chief Medical Officer & Chemical- Biological Expert Consultant to the Director of Operations, Bureau of Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Department of Homeland Security (2003-2004). He has served on the Civil Law Enforcement Military Cooperation Committee of the International Association for Chiefs of Police, facilitating the WMD for the Law Enforcement Executive course through Michigan State University School of Criminal Justice and the FEMA Healthcare Leadership Training program at the Noble DHS Training Site in Anniston, Alabama. In September 2005, he returned to active duty service and focused on the "Homecoming" of our returning Soldiers. His efforts were directed towards bridging trauma care with physical and psychological recovery. He served as the Chief Warrior Transition Division, Clinical Operations, for the North Atlantic Region Medical Command (2006- 2009). In 2006, he was awarded the "Dr. Robert Aranosian Award for Excellence in EMS." He served on the ACOEP Board of Directors (2006-2009), and the Board of Directors and as chair for the International EMS committee for the Continuing Education Coordinating Board for Emergency Medical Services (2009-2011). He has been a member of the World Association for Disaster & Emergency Medicine since 1994 and served on its Board of Directors (2007-2011). Dr. Bograkos was appointed to the American Osteopathic Association Bureau on Scientific Affairs & Public Health in 2008 (two terms - 2008-2013). Dr. Bograkos is a member of the American College of Osteopathic Emergency Physician's EMS Committee, the American College of Osteopathic Family Physician's Public Health Committee, and the American Osteopathic Academy of Addiction Medicine Board of Trustees. He serves on the Board of Directors for the Maryland Brain Injury Association. Colonel Bograkos graduated from the U.S. Naval War College "with distinction" in 2009, and received his MA in National Security & Strategic Studies (AOS Irregular Warfare / narco-terrorism) "with distinction" in 2011. He is a Clinical Professor of Medical Military Science, Family Practice, and Emergency Medicine at the University of New England College of Osteopathic Medicine.