March 30, 2011
Letter to the Editor
350 N. Orleans St., 10th Floor
Chicago, IL 60654
The best remedy to prevent the nation’s looming shortage of primary care physicians is to support and encourage future physicians to practice in this much needed area of medicine (“More young doctors choosing careers in primary care,” March 29). As president of the American Osteopathic Association and soon-to-be returning dean of the Midwestern University/Chicago College of Osteopathic Medicine (MWU/CCOM) in Downers Grove, I am thrilled to see a growing number of new physicians helping to ensure that patients will continue to have access to primary care.
Last month during the osteopathic match, primary care specialties of family practice saw a 15% increase and internal medicine saw a 28% increase. In fact, family practice was the largest matched specialty with 373 positions filled. In the Chicago area, more than 40 primary care residency positions were filled by MWU/CCOM graduates.
Osteopathic physicians (DOs) have always been committed to providing primary care. Currently, approximately half of DOs choose to practice in primary care areas. With more than 100,000 DOs projected to be in practice by the year 2020, they are in an ideal position to help preserve access to quality medical care.
Karen J. Nichols, DO
American Osteopathic Association