Privacy Policy

Information collection/use

The Student Osteopathic Medical Association (SOMA) understands that your privacy and security are important to you. This privacy policy outlines how the SOMA intends to collect, use and safeguard information on its various websites and digital applications, including,, SOMA social media properties and any other digital services and platforms officially operated or used by the SOMA (“Site(s)”).

By using a SOMA Site, you agree to the terms of this Privacy Policy. Please read this policy thoroughly and carefully. If you do not agree to the terms of this Privacy Policy, please exit the Site immediately.

The SOMA is the sole owner of the information collected on our Sites. We will not sell, share, or rent this information to others in ways different from what is disclosed in this statement.

Changes to privacy policy

In the future, SOMA may amend this Privacy Policy. When we make changes or additions to our privacy policy, we will post the date of the update on the privacy statement. If you choose to reject any portion of this policy and have your Personally Identifiable Information (PII) removed from SOMA records, please notify us at [email protected].

Personal information collection/use

“Personally Identifiable Information” (PII) refers to any information that identifies or can be used to identify or contact you when you use or visit our Site. The SOMA collects the PII that you provide, which may include, but not be limited to, your name, date of birth, address, email address, telephone number, as well as demographic and transactional data. In addition to PII collected online, SOMA may also receive information about you from other sources, such as colleges of osteopathic medicine. Additional PII collected and used by SOMA is outlined in the Data Collection and Use section below.

Some examples of where and when your PII may be collected include when you:

  • apply for membership, or renew membership dues;
  • register for a SOMA event or meeting;
  • access our products or services;
  • create an account on our websites;
  • subscribe to our publications;
  • request marketing materials from us;
  • enter search queries on our websites;
  • participate in a promotion or survey provided by SOMA;
  • serve as a volunteer;
  • participate in educational activities;
  • contact SOMA with feedback or request membership/customer support.

Aggregate information is information in summary form and is not considered PII because it does not reveal your identity. SOMA uses analytical tools and software to analyze trends, administer the Site, track movements through the Site, and gather broad information for aggregate use. SOMA uses and allows third parties to use aggregate information to aid in the development or implementation of programs, products and services. SOMA also uses such aggregate information to analyze website visits, page views and referral links to gain insight into functionality, interest, and overall user experience.

Financial information

SOMA does not disclose payment information provided by its members and customers. When members and customers choose to pay, whether by credit card, check, or other form of payment, SOMA submits the information needed to obtain payment to the appropriate clearinghouse.

Activity tracking

SOMA websites use cookies to improve users’ experience with our Sites. A cookie is a piece of data stored on the user’s hard drive which allows organizations to collect non-PII about the use of a site. Some of the ways we use cookies are to identify you, assist in displaying personalized content, save your login information and analyze our traffic.
Some of our websites and our emails may contain small electronic files known as web beacons (also referred to as clear gifs, pixel tags and single-pixel gifs) that permit SOMA, for example, to count users who have visited those pages, or opened an email, and for other related website statistics (for example, recording the popularity of certain website content and verifying system and server integrity).

SOMA may use automatic data collection technology to gather information about your device(s) and how you interact with content on our sites. This may include information such as whether you are a new or existing user, the duration and frequency of your visits, the web content you view, and what searches you conduct within the site. We may also collect information about how you’re accessing our sites, such as the type of device you’re using (e.g., cellphone, tablet, desktop computer, etc.), browser, network, operating system, and connection speed.


Our Sites contain links to other sites. SOMA is not responsible for the privacy practices of other sites. This Privacy Policy applies solely to our Sites. Should you follow a link to another site, you are encouraged to review the privacy policy applicable to that website.

Using your PII

SOMA uses PII collected to:

  • verify membership with SOMA;
  • provide access to subscription-based or membership content and services;
  • improve or add content, usability, functionality to our sites;
  • send informational communications on SOMA activities, news, events or products and services;
  • process your payment for SOMA member dues, or a SOMA-sponsored product, service or event;
  • deliver and process survey requests;
  • provide dietary and disability accommodation;
  • respond to your email or online request for service or feedback.

Disclosure and sharing with third parties

SOMA 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.

SOMA may also use PII provided by you to conduct research, to improve our Sites, and to provide services to you. Your PII may be shared with our business partners so that they can identify and offer products or services that you may be interested in. SOMA may work with outside companies to carry out tasks such as, but not limited to, advocacy action alerts, credit card payment processing, distributing purchases, responding to customer inquiries, consulting, website analytics and monitoring, printing, mailing, event registration, email marketing, website hosting and data storage. Any companies we work with are given only the information they need to deliver that service, and they are forbidden by contract from using the information for any other purpose. Except as described here, third parties are not allowed to collect PII about your digital activities over time or across other internet-based platforms or applications when you use our Sites.

Managing your PII

You can manage your profile and email preferences, or request to be removed from any non-transactional communication from SOMA by contacting us using the information in the Contact Us section of California residents have additional considerations per California’s “Shine the Light” law.

You have the right to:

  • opt out of some or all future communications from us;
  • request and view any personal data we have about you;
  • correct or update any data we have about you*;
  • ask us to stop using or sharing data about you; and/or
  • ask us to delete any data we have about you.

The SOMA will remove your PII from our active databases or anonymize so that the data is no longer identified with you. In instances where members request SOMA’s assistance in verifying credentials, deletion of your data could impede or delay the credentialing process. Additionally, your data may remain in our archives if SOMA determines that it is not possible to delete.

*Corrections or updates to certain data we have on you (i.e., licensure, medical education, or training, etc.) will require primary source verification prior to any changes to your data.

Data collection & use

SOMA collects data on osteopathic medical students and osteopathic physicians, including those who are not SOMA members, which is collectively referred to as the SOMA Masterfile (“Masterfile”). SOMA also collects data on those who are not osteopathic medical students but who are members of SOMA, such as pre-medical or pre-health professions students, and SOMA alumni.

SOMA obtains demographic information from osteopathic medical schools. SOMA also obtains address and contact information from commercial sources and from other organizations related to the osteopathic medical profession, including osteopathic state associations and specialty colleges.

Each record in the Masterfile includes demographic information, osteopathic medical school, postgraduate information, and current practice information as applicable. Demographic information includes gender, date of birth, self-identified race/ethnicity, mailing address and other contact information.

While data verification and authentication are the Masterfile’s primary purpose, the SOMA shares limited information from the Masterfile with other osteopathic organizations, and licenses portions of its Masterfile to selected licensees. Both operate under carefully restricted information usage agreements and these organizations and licensees will have their own published policy on the collection and use of your PII. The SOMA 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 that may be of interest for osteopathic students, osteopathic 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
  • Pharmaceutical information
  • Medical equipment and supplies
  • Employment opportunities

In addition to the PII management rights listed earlier, members may further direct SOMA:

  • Not to release contact information to affiliates or licensees: This option permits SOMA to contact the member, but SOMA will not share any contact information with other osteopathic organizations, 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 to release PII: This option means that the SOMA will not release any PII to licensees or other osteopathic organizations. This would include not-releasing PII used to announce drug recalls and health hazards, information given to state licensing agencies and agencies verifying credentials such as hospitals and physician groups. Members electing this non-release option will also be excluded from any SOMA publications.

The SOMA will immediately record your request and preferences; however, there will be a delay while your request to remove PII is communicated to its licensees. You may see residual marketing and communication pieces or emails for a short length of time until your PII is removed. Please contact SOMA should you have any questions or concerns.

Information security

The SOMA takes precautions to protect the information we collect. We use SSL encryption to protect your payment transactions. We also take necessary precautions to protect our database off-line. The server on which we store personally identifiable information is kept in a secure environment.

Due to the current state of technology, there is no ability to provide complete assurance as to the security of data transmissions over the Internet and electronically stored data. While the SOMA takes appropriate and reasonable efforts to protect the PII and other Data from unauthorized access as described in this Privacy Policy, we are unable to guarantee or warrant the security of the data you transmit to us.

Contact us

For suggestions, compliments, or complaints regarding this Privacy Policy, please email SOMA at [email protected] or use the online feedback form in the Contact Us section of

Revised 3/20/2024