AACOM Releases Survey Results: Appeal of GME with Osteopathic Recognition 

As the transition to the single graduate medical education (GME) accreditation system moves forward, designation of GME programs with “osteopathic recognition” status will be an important signal to most osteopathic medical students as they determine their training options. Osteopathic recognition is a key mechanism by which osteopathic principles and practices (OPP) are integrated into the new accreditation system. As program and institutional leaders consider osteopathic recognition for their programs, information on student demand for residency and fellowship programs with an osteopathic focus, may better inform their decision-making process.

To that end, in March 2015, AACOM conducted a survey to examine current preferences of third-year students at colleges of osteopathic medicine (COMs) who are starting the process of choosing their residency training programs. 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 and examines the relevance of “osteopathic recognition” status of ACGME-accredited programs among DO students. The findings of this research reveals that students convey overwhelming interest for ACGME-accredited programs with osteopathic recognition, with 70.55 percent indicating that a program with osteopathic recognition has greater appeal to them than an ACGME-accredited program without osteopathic recognition (see figure below).

Other key findings from this 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.
  • Nearly 48 percent of respondents specify that osteopathic recognition is a “very important” or “important” influence in how they rank GME programs.
  • Cited reasons for selecting a program with osteopathic recognition—to maintain their commitment to osteopathic medicine and the osteopathic profession, students perceive that programs with osteopathic recognition are more likely to be “DO friendly,” offer more opportunities, have greater appreciation for the value of osteopathic medicine, and be more open to the use of Osteopathic Manipulative Treatment (OMT) in patient care.

As institutions seek to recruit the best and brightest DO students for their programs, information on student demand is key. The results from this poll signal that a majority of osteopathic medical students are likely to seek and prioritize residency programs with osteopathic recognition and also underscores their desire to continue their chosen osteopathic medical education (OME) pathway to becoming a physician.

View the full report and read the March 2015 Inside OME President’s Column, Implementing the Single Accreditation System for Graduate Medical Education: Seeking Osteopathic Recognition.

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


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April/May 2015
Vol. 9, No. 4/5