Medical EducationOriginal Article

Professional Satisfaction Among New Osteopathic Family Physicians: A Survey-Based Investigation of Residency-Trained Graduates

Christopher Simpson, DO, PhD; Marc Cutright, EdD; Victor Heh, PhD; and Martha A. Simpson, DO, MBA
Notes and Affiliations
Notes and Affiliations

Received: April 9, 2007

Accepted: August 11, 2008

Published: February 1, 2009

J Osteopath Med; 109(2): 92-96

Context: Progressively more osteopathic graduates are seeking training opportunities in programs accredited by the Accreditation Council on Graduate Medical Education (ACGME).

Objectives: To determine if family medicine residency training program choice (ie, allopathic [ACGME], osteopathic, or dually accredited) has an impact on professional satisfaction levels among recent osteopathic medical school graduates.

Methods: The authors designed a survey instrument to gather data on professional satisfaction levels. Osteopathic family physicians who completed residency training from 1999-2003 were asked to participate in the study.

Results: The survey was sent to 2284 individuals with an adjusted response rate of 37%. One hundred and one (15.8%) of the osteopathic family physicians who responded reported completing residency training programs approved by the American Osteopathic Association (AOA); 335 (52.3%), ACGME-accredited programs; 198 (30.9%), dually accredited programs. One hundred forty-three surveyed osteopathic physicians (22.3%) were less than happy with their career choice. In addition, 219 (34.2%) reported that they were “thinking of changing…specialty,” and 30 (4.7%) reported that they were not “currently practicing family medicine.” Individuals trained in ACGME programs reported slightly higher levels of professional satisfaction than individuals trained in AOA-approved or dually accredited programs—though these differences were deemed trivial (ie, low effect size, 0.01; P>.05).

Conclusions: The authors found no statistically significant differences in professional satisfaction levels among osteopathic family physicians who were recent medical school graduates regardless of residency training program choice.

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