Letters to the Editor  |   October 2005
Surprised by Surgery Statistics
Author Affiliations
  • Keith A. Kattner, DO
    American College of Osteopathic Surgeons' Neurological Surgery Section BroMenn Regional Medical Center Bloomington, Ill
    Chair, Neurological Surgery Residency Program Director
Article Information
Medical Education / Graduate Medical Education
Letters to the Editor   |   October 2005
Surprised by Surgery Statistics
The Journal of the American Osteopathic Association, October 2005, Vol. 105, 445. doi:
The Journal of the American Osteopathic Association, October 2005, Vol. 105, 445. doi:
To the Editor:
We in the Neurological Surgery Section of the American College of Osteopathic Surgeons were rather surprised by the American Osteopathic Association (AOA)-approved residency program statistics for our specialty that appeared in Table 7 of the November 2004 issue of JAOA—The Journal of the American Osteopathic Association (Obradovic JL et al. Osteopathic graduate medical education. 2004;104:476-477). The number of programs listed for the 2003–2004 academic year was incorrect. We have 9 AOA-approved accredited programs, not 10. In addition, both the number of positions (listed as 53) and the number of residents (listed as 32) seemed very low to us. 
In anticipation of similar statistics being published for the 2004–2005 academic year, we submit the following figures, which were obtained from our program directors in early 2005: 
  • Number of programs: 9
  • Number of positions: 60
  • Number of residents: 45
  • Number of interns (tracked and untracked): 5
These statistics give a utilization rate for neurological surgery positions of 75% (not counting the interns) or 83% (counting the interns). Not only are these figures substantially higher than the rate indicated by the statistics in the JAOA table (60%), but they are also much higher than the average utilization rate for all specialties (51%, per Table 7) and higher than every other individual specialty except otolaryngology/facial plastic surgery (96%, including interns). 
We are very proud of the success of our program directors in recruiting, retaining, and training adequate numbers of residents to sustain viable programs. We look forward to seeing accurate figures in the 2004–2005 residency program statistics published by the JAOA. 

Editor's note: JAOA—The Journal of the American Osteopathic Association and the American Osteopathic Association's Department of Education are pleased to announce that we have jointly decided to postpone publication of the 2005 annual medical education issue of JAOA. Beginning in February 2006, this annual issue will be published in February, instead of November, to better coincide with the annual release of data for the previous academic year.

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