Osteopathic Physicians on the Editorial Boards of Major Medical Journals Over the Past 30 Years

John V. Ashurst, DO, MSc, and Michael Galuska, MD
Notes and Affiliations
Notes and Affiliations

Accepted: October 26, 2015

Published: February 1, 2016

J Osteopath Med; 116(2): 92-95

Context: With the recent merger of the American Osteopathic Association and the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education, new standards may be established for scholarly activity criteria and designation for each specialty.

Objectives: To determine the percentage of osteopathic physicians on editorial boards in general and specialty medical journals and to compare the participation of osteopathic vs allopathic physicians and other health care researchers in editorial activities.

Methods: The number of osteopathic and allopathic physicians and other health care professionals serving as editor in chief, associate editor, editorial board member, emeritus editor, or in other editorial positions was examined in 8 major medical journals (New England Journal of Medicine, JAMA, Annals of Internal Medicine, Annals of Surgery, Annals of Emergency Medicine, Annals of Family Medicine, Obstetrics and Gynecology, and Pediatrics) published during the past 30 years.

Results: The number of editorial board positions increased during the past 30 years, with Annals of Surgery adding the most positions (64). When compared with allopathic physicians in all fields of medicine, the number of osteopathic physicians serving on an editorial board of a medical journal was significantly less (P<.001). When all editorial positions were combined, osteopathic physicians occupied 0.15% of all positions.

Conclusions: A disparity exists between the numbers of osteopathic vs allopathic physicians in editorial positions in the core disciplines of medicine. Further investigation into the reasons why few osteopathic physicians serve in editorial roles is needed.

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