FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 7, 2012
JAOA—The Journal of the American Osteopathic Association Themed Issue Explores Osteopathic Medical Education Trends
(CHICAGO) – Primary care continues to be a top choice among graduates of osteopathic medical schools for their residency training, according to the recent medical education issue of JAOA—The Journal of the American Osteopathic Association.
Almost a quarter of osteopathic residents (23.5%) selected family medicine for their specialty training, according to the 2011 osteopathic match data reported through May 31, 2011 (see news release for information about the 2012 osteopathic match). Internal medicine is the second choice with 16.3% of trainees. The number of osteopathic physicians (DOs) participating in all American Osteopathic Association (AOA)-accredited graduate medical education programs has increased by more than 50% since the 2005-2006 academic year.
Historically, DOs have had a special commitment to providing primary care, particularly in the nation's rural and underserved populations. According to the AOA’s 2011 Osteopathic Medical Profession Report, more than 60% of DOs practice in the primary care areas, including family medicine and internal medicine.
"Graduate medical education is a necessary step for graduates to become fully licensed osteopathic physicians and to be eligible for specialty certification," says Michael I. Opipari, DO, chair of the AOA Council on Postdoctoral Training. "Medical school training is not enough. Students need additional training from residencies to ensure they are prepared to fulfill the nation's health care needs."
Other osteopathic medical education trends of note:
For the past 10 academic years, AOA Commission on Osteopathic College Accreditation-approved class sizes have steadily increased from a net increase of 15 students in the 2002-2003 academic year to 375 new positions in the 2011-2012 academic year.
Right now, the AOA accredits 26 osteopathic medical schools operating in 34 locations across the country. Ten years ago there were only 19 osteopathic medical schools in 19 locations.
The 2010-2011 academic year had 9,110 osteopathic graduate medical education positions approved in 827 residency programs. This is up from the year before when 8,501 positions in 792 residency programs were approved.
Approximately 55% of all AOA-approved training programs are in Michigan, New York, Ohio and Pennsylvania.
Florida had the most growth in 2010-2011 with an increase of 10 AOA-approved training programs and 196 approved positions.
For more information about the state of osteopathic medical education, read "Osteopathic Graduate Medical Education 2012"and "The Problem with Graduate Medical Education" in the JAOA’s education issue.
What is a DO?
DOs and MDs are the only two groups of physicians fully licensed to prescribe medication and practice in all specialty areas, including surgery, in the United States. They both complete four years of medical school followed by graduate medical education through internship or residency programs typically lasting three to eight years. In addition, DOs receive extra training in the musculoskeletal system, providing them with an in-depth knowledge of the ways that illness or injury in one part of the body can affect another.
About the Education Issue
The JAOA—The Journal of the American Osteopathic Association's themed issue on osteopathic medical education includes annual updates from the American Osteopathic Association’s Department of Accreditation and Department of Education. The reports and articles in this issue document trends in osteopathic medical education, including data benchmarks of work being done to improve the medical education system in order to maintain and improve the quality, efficiency and access to health care and preventive services in the nation.
About JAOA—The Journal of the American Osteopathic Association
JAOA—The Journal of the American Osteopathic Association is a monthly peer-reviewed scientific publication produced by the American Osteopathic Association (AOA). The AOA proudly represents its professional family of more than 78,000 osteopathic physicians (DOs); promotes public health; encourages scientific research; serves as the primary certifying body for DOs; is the accrediting agency for osteopathic medical schools; and has federal authority to accredit hospitals and other health care facilities. More information on DOs/osteopathic medicine can be found at www.osteopathic.org.