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2017 Survey Results: Appeal of GME with Osteopathic Recognition Among Third-Year Osteopathic Medical Students

February 08, 2017
The single graduate medical education (GME) accreditation system provides a designation of "osteopathic recognition" for ACGME-accredited GME programs that integrate osteopathic principles and practices (OPP) within their training. This status is an important signal to most osteopathic medical students who seek to continue training with an osteopathic emphasis. Osteopathic recognition is the key mechanism by which OPP is integrated into the single accreditation system.

AACOM conducted a survey in March 2015 to examine the preferences of third-year students at colleges of osteopathic medicine (COMs) who are starting the process of choosing their residency training programs. The survey was repeated in November-December 2016. The goal of the survey was to determine if COM students were interested in pursuing ACGME-accredited programs with osteopathic recognition within the single GME accreditation system. In this survey, third-year students were asked whether they would prefer an ACGME-accredited program with osteopathic recognition over one without osteopathic recognition, and how important osteopathic recognition would be in their rank order of preference for GME programs. 

This data brief, Survey Results: Appeal of ACGME-Accredited Programs with Osteopathic Recognition among Third-Year Osteopathic Medical Students, reports on the survey data administered in November/December 2016. The findings of this poll, which are similar to those in the 2015 survey, reveal that students continue to convey overwhelming interest in ACGME-accredited programs with osteopathic recognition, with 68.20 percent indicating that a program with osteopathic recognition has greater appeal to them than an ACGME-accredited program without osteopathic recognition (see figure below).

Would an ACGME-accredited program with Osteopathic Recognition be more appealing to you than an ACGME-accredited program without Osteopathic Recognition?

Pie chart showing 68.2% find an ACGME-accredited program with osteopathic recognition appealing.

Other key findings from the survey include:

  • Osteopathic recognition of an ACGME program has some degree of influence in how 78.2 percent of respondents may choose to rank GME programs.
  • Over half (51.20 percent) of respondents specify that osteopathic recognition is a “very important” or “important” influence in how they rank GME programs.
  • The most frequently cited reasons for selecting a program with osteopathic recognition is to maintain their commitment to osteopathic medicine and the osteopathic profession and to continue to develop skills in Osteopathic Manipulative Treatment (OMT) to use in future practice.

As programs and institutions seek to recruit high-demand osteopathic medical students, information about their preferences is vital. The results from the 2015 and now updated survey signal that a majority of osteopathic medical students are likely to pursue and rank residency programs with osteopathic recognition. These data also show the continued desire among most osteopathic medical students to continue training in osteopathic principles and practices in their residency and to apply this training in their future practice. 

View the 2017 report, Survey Results: Appeal of ACGME-accredited Programs with Osteopathic Recognition among Third-Year Osteopathic Medical Students.

For more information and updates, visit the AACOM Single GME Accreditation System web page.


Vol. 1, No. 4
February 23, 2017