Blog Comments on Doctors of Osteopathic Medicines’ Growing Share of the Physician Workforce

In a blog published in Health Affairs, Edward Salsberg and Clese Erikson of the Department of Health Policy and Management at GW’s Milken Institute of Public Health discuss the implications of the reality that doctors of osteopathic medicine, or DOs, now comprise 26 percent of first-year medical students in the United States with further increases expected.  

Both Salsberg and Erikson are affiliated with GW’s Health Workforce Institute.  They explain that doctors of osteopathic medicine workforce have a higher likelihood of practicing in rural communities and of pursuing careers in primary care.  This suggests that doctors of osteopathic medicine are on track to play an increasingly important role in ensuring access to care nationwide, including for our most vulnerable populations.

The blog also explains the significance of the 2014 decision by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) and the American Osteopathic Association (AOA) to establish a single accreditation system for all graduate medical education (residency) programs.  This accreditation system will be fully implemented in 2020.

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