GeneralOriginal Article

Pennsylvania Otolaryngologists as a Model for the Implications of Practice Location of Osteopathic vs Allopathic Surgical Subspecialists

Shane Griffith, DO; Anton Power, DO; and Mark Strand, DO, MS
Notes and Affiliations
Notes and Affiliations

Received: January 29, 2017

Accepted: April 7, 2017

Published: September 1, 2017

J Osteopath Med; 117(9): 553-557

Context: Evidenced-based models should be used to predict future implications of the single accreditation system for graduate medical education. Compared with other states, Pennsylvania has a relatively high number of osteopathic physicians (ie, DOs) and may be used as a model for a health care system with an increased DO presence.

Objectives: To compare the geographic distribution of otolaryngologist DOs with otolaryngologist allopathic physicians (ie, MDs) in Pennsylvania and identify differences in community size (urban, urbanized, and rural) in which these physicians practice.

Methods: A list of otolaryngologist practice locations in Pennsylvania was developed using Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services data, the American Osteopathic Colleges of Ophthalmology and Otolaryngology–Head and Neck Surgery Masterfile, and the American Medical Association Physician Masterfile. The United States Census data were used to document the general population of those locations. The samples of individual otolaryngologist DOs and MDs were then analyzed by determining where each otolaryngologist practiced, identifying the type of community in which they practiced, and then comparing the percentage of otolaryngologist DOs and MDs who practiced in each community type (urbanized area, urban cluster, and rural). A χ2 analysis was used to determine whether a difference existed in practice location between otolaryngologist DOs and MDs.

Results: Of the 47 otolaryngologist DOs, 32 (70%) practiced in cities with a population of 49,999 or less. More than half (120 of 238) of the otolaryngologist MDs practiced in cities larger than 50,000, and 96 of 238 (40%) practiced in cities with a population of at least 200,000. χ2 analysis showed a significant difference in the geographic distribution of otolaryngologist DOs and MDs (P=.012).

Conclusions: A correlation exists between the practice location of otolaryngologists in Pennsylvania and the medical degree they hold.

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