Resident and Faculty Attitudes Toward Osteopathic-Focused Education

Laura K. Hempstead, DO; Beth Rosemergey, DO; Steven Foote, DO; Kelly Swade, DO; and Karen B. Williams, PhD
Notes and Affiliations
Notes and Affiliations

Received: December 13, 2017

Accepted: January 26, 2018

Published: April 1, 2018

J Osteopath Med; 118(4): 253-263

Context: The transition period for the single accreditation system for graduate medical education under the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) began on July 1, 2015, and will end June 30, 2020. As of February 5, 2018, 82.6% of residency programs accredited by the American Osteopathic Association (AOA) have applied for or achieved ACGME accreditation and 160 programs have applied for or achieved osteopathic recognition.

Objectives: To assess baseline attitudes of osteopathic and allopathic faculty and residents in AOA-accredited and dually accredited residency programs regarding the value of osteopathic-focused educational curricula and mentors.

Methods: A survey was emailed to 60 program directors of AOA-accredited programs and dually accredited residency programs, some of which had obtained ACGME osteopathic recognition. The survey was to be completed by residents and faculty. Items were formulated to obtain baseline measurements regarding the level of awareness of osteopathic principles and practice (OPP), attitudes regarding osteopathic culture, and the weighted importance of aspects of the osteopathic curriculum. Principal components analysis with Varimax rotation was used. Comparison analysis was accomplished by either independent t tests for subscale scores or Mann-Whitney U tests for item-level scores.

Results: A total of 327 people responded to the survey (115 faculty members, 211 residents, and 1 no response). Of the 60 program directors contacted, 53 replied with at least 1 program representative. One hundred twenty-nine of all 211 residents (61.7%), including 107 of 134 osteopathic family medicine residents (79.9%), agreed that they intended to use OMT when in practice. The curricular component item with the lowest total survey score, indicating the highest-ranked level of importance, was the ability to work with osteopathic faculty (mean [SD], 1.98 [0.98]). Of the items measuring osteopathic awareness, statements with the strongest level of agreement from all respondents were “I have seen OMT performed on a patient or a peer” and “I am familiar with the basic tenets of OPP.”

Conclusions: Residents in AOA-accredited programs value osteopathic mentors and OMT, and they generally intend to use OMT when in practice. Respondents from programs with osteopathic recognition had more favorable attitudes toward osteopathic culture and curriculum than did respondents from programs without osteopathic recognition.

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