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J Am Osteopath Assoc. 2011 Oct;111(10):581-4.

Osteopathic distinctiveness in osteopathic predoctoral education and its effect on osteopathic graduate medical education.

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  • 1Doctors Hospital Family Practice Residency, 2030 Stringtown Rd, Third Floor, Grove City, OH 43123-3993, USA. lching@vcom.vt.edu


The number of colleges of osteopathic medicine (COMs), osteopathic medical students, and osteopathic physicians in practice has been consistently growing since the 1960s. In recent years, the growth of the profession has been exponential. Despite this growth, graduates of COMs are increasingly choosing allopathic residencies. The authors believe that this trend may stem from a lack of focus on osteopathic principles and practice in COMs, as well as geographic and specialty limitations of available osteopathic residency positions. The present article will briefly examine the history of AOA accreditation and the current accreditation process and the current state of osteopathic predoctoral education and postdoctoral training. The authors call on osteopathic physicians to help bring osteopathic distinctiveness to osteopathic predoctoral education by mentoring and volunteering at COMs. In addition, the authors urge the osteopathic profession to increase the number of osteopathic residencies to account for the number of and distribution of osteopathic medical school graduates.

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