Roughly half of all osteopathic physicians (DOs) practice in primary care and those ranks will continue to grow, according to results of the latest residency match.
Roughly half of all osteopathic physicians (DOs) practice in primary care, and those ranks will continue to grow, according to a results of the 2013 American Osteopathic Association (AOA) match.
Family medicine was the largest match specialty of the more than 2,500 osteopathic students and recent graduates who were selected for 1,891 program placements in the AOA Intern/Resident Registration Program this year. Family medicine saw an 11% increase this year, with 472 positions filled. It was also the largest specialty last year, with 433 positions filled. Internal medicine matches increased as well, by 9% over last year, according to data from the National Matching Service.
“Every year, we see more and more osteopathic medical students matching into family medicine programs and other primary care specialties,” says Clinton E. Adams, DO, vice chairman of the AOA Council on Postdoctoral Training. “Although primary care is traditionally a lower paying specialty, the role these physicians play in educating patients about healthy lifestyle choices and disease prevention is priceless.”
Primary care isn’t the only aspect of osteopathic medicine that’s growing, however. Overall, there are more than 20,000 osteopathic medical students enrolled in training today compared with 15,000 enrolled 5 years ago. In that time, six osteopathic medical schools have opened to meet the demands of students who want to become DOs, bringing the total number of osteopathic medical schools to 26.