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BREAKING: New Survey Data Reveal Strong Interest in ACGME Programs with Osteopathic Recognition among DO Students

May 12, 2015

Third-year osteopathic medical students signal preference for GME programs with osteopathic recognition.

(Washington, DC)—One of the key components of the single graduate medical education (GME) accreditation system is the creation of the ACGME’s Osteopathic Principles Committee (OPC) which will oversee and grant “osteopathic recognition” status to programs wishing to maintain and expand osteopathic medical training in GME programs.

In March 2015, AACOM conducted a poll of third-year students at colleges of osteopathic medicine (COMs) who are starting the process of choosing their residency training program. In this survey, third-year students were asked if they would prefer an ACGME 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.

Survey results suggest overwhelming enthusiasm among third-year COM students for ACGME programs with osteopathic recognition. Furthermore, osteopathic recognition would likely play a significant role in how many students will rank programs in their preferred list for GME positions.

Among the key findings from this survey:

  • 70 percent of respondents find ACGME-accredited programs with osteopathic recognition more appealing than an ACGME-accredited program without osteopathic recognition.
  • 78 percent of respondents report that osteopathic recognition status has some degree of influence on how they may prioritize GME programs in their rank order list.
  • 48 percent of respondents specify that osteopathic recognition is a “very important” or “important” influence in how they will rank GME programs.

"Information about student demand for GME programs with osteopathic recognition is critical as institutions seek to compete and attract a high caliber applicant pool for their programs," said Stephen C. Shannon, DO, MPH, President and CEO of AACOM. "The survey results signal that a robust majority of osteopathic medical students are likely to seek and prioritize residency programs with osteopathic recognition and also signifies their desire to continue their chosen osteopathic medical education pathway to becoming a physician."

See the full report here.

Data for this report was gathered with the cooperation of the colleges of osteopathic medicine. All data included may be freely redistributed with proper attribution to AACOM.


The American Association of Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine (AACOM) represents the 31 accredited colleges of osteopathic medicine in the United States. These colleges are accredited to deliver instruction at 44 teaching locations in 29 states. In the 2014-15 academic year these colleges are educating over 24,600 future physicians—more than 20 percent of all US medical students. Six of the colleges are public and 25 are private institutions.

AACOM was founded in 1898 to support and assist the nation's osteopathic medical schools, and to serve as a unifying voice for osteopathic medical education. AACOM provides leadership for the osteopathic medical education community by promoting excellence in medical education, research and service, and by fostering innovation and quality across the continuum of osteopathic medical education to improve the health of the American public.