Free
Articles  |   December 1996
A national study of factors influencing the career choice of osteopathic and allopathic family physicians
Article Information
Articles   |   December 1996
A national study of factors influencing the career choice of osteopathic and allopathic family physicians
The Journal of the American Osteopathic Association, December 1996, Vol. 96, 737. doi:10.7556/jaoa.1996.96.12.737
The Journal of the American Osteopathic Association, December 1996, Vol. 96, 737. doi:10.7556/jaoa.1996.96.12.737
Abstract

This study examines the differences between osteopathic and allopathic physicians regarding those factors influencing their career choice of family practice. A total of 256 osteopathic physicians and 717 allopathic family physicians were surveyed. The surveyed physicians graduated in 1983 and 1984. Comparisons were made on 19 variables that influenced the physicians' decisions to enter family practice as well as on the six factor scores derived from these 19 variables. Osteopathic physicians' decisions to choose family practice was more influenced by financial obligations, medical school experiences, and family values, whereas the allopathic physicians were more influenced by personal social value. Overall, medical school experience and personal social value were two important factors that explained the largest variances of the 19 predictors influencing physicians' decisions to enter family practice. Those allopathic medical schools whose mission emphasizes the production of generalist physicians may be able to model some approaches already in place at osteopathic medical schools. Because of the influence of the personal social value factor in medical students' choosing family practice medicine, this factor warrants further study.