Medical EducationCOMMENTARY

AACOM Projections for Growth Through 2012: Results of a 2007 Survey of US Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine

Thomas Levitan, MEd
Notes and Affiliations
Notes and Affiliations

Received: January 7, 2008

Accepted: January 31, 2008

Published: March 1, 2008

J Osteopath Med; 108(3): 116-120

In fall 2006, the American Association of Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine (AACOM) sent an electronic survey to the deans of all 23 colleges of osteopathic medicine (COMs) in the United States. A response rate of 100% was achieved and data were reported to participants in May 2007. In fall 2007, AACOM sent shortened, personalized follow-up surveys to the same sample group, asking participants to confirm or correct their previous responses. The 2007 AACOM Survey of Osteopathic College Growth Plans and Issues took approximately 30 minutes to complete. A response rate of 96% was achieved. The results of this 2007 survey are summarized in light of data in AACOM’s forthcoming 2007 Annual Statistical Report on Osteopathic Medical Education. By the 2012-2013 academic year, first-year student enrollment is expected to increase approximately 23%. By 2016-2017, more than 5000 DOs will graduate from COMs annually—a 62% increase over current numbers. When student recruiting efforts focus on demographic and geographic factors, the nation’s COMs are most inclined to use these variables to address the needs of underserved rural populations. The majority of participants, regardless of their current plans for institutional expansion, indicated that the availability of clinical training sites is a cause of concern. Survey respondents also commented on the fiscal challenges of expansion.

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