GeneralOriginal Article

Medical Degree Disparity Among Authors in Obstetrics and Gynecology Journals

Brian Merritt, OMS II; Thomas Simunich, MS, MBA; and John Ashurst, DO, MSc
Notes and Affiliations
Notes and Affiliations

Received: May 17, 2018

Accepted: June 25, 2018

Published: February 1, 2019

J Osteopath Med; 119(2): e1-e8

Context: With the transition to a single accreditation system for graduate medical education, the scholarly activity among core faculty in osteopathic and allopathic residency programs has come under scrutiny. Currently, major differences in scholarly activity requirements exist between core faculty in obstetrics and gynecology residencies accredited by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education and those accredited by the American Osteopathic Association.

Objectives: To determine whether there is a disparity between osteopathic and allopathic physicians among authors with original research published in 4 high-impact obstetrics and gynecology journals during 4 select years.

Methods: The authors reviewed Obstetrics & Gynecology (Obstet Gynecol), the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology (Am J Obstet Gynecol), Fertility and Sterility (Fertil Steril), and Menopause for the degree designation of the first and senior (last) author of each original manuscript for the years of 2000, 2005, 2010, and 2015. Data were analyzed using simple descriptive statistics and linear regression.

Results: In total, 3311 articles and 5909 authors were reviewed. Of these authors, 0.80% (47) had a DO degree. Of 1692 authors with dual advanced degrees, only 0.53% (9) had a DO degree. On subgroup analysis of each journal, 0.87% (13 of 1494) of identified authors in Obstet Gynecol, 1.03% (21 of 2038) in Am J Obstet Gynecol, 0.44% (9 of 2030) in Fertil Steril, and 2.20% (4 of 347) in Menopause were osteopathic physicians. During the years studied, no statistically significant trend could be established for first or senior author publication by osteopathic physicians over time, for all 4 journals or for any individual journal.

Conclusions: Very few osteopathic physicians have served as either the first or the senior author in articles published in Obstet Gynecol, Am J Obstet Gynecol, Fertil Steril, or Menopause during the years studied, and no trend was seen for increased publication by osteopathic physicians in these journals over time.

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