Aguwa MI, Liechty DK. Professional identification and affiliation of the 1992 graduate class of the colleges of osteopathic medicine . J Am Osteopath Assoc 1999;99(8):408–420. doi: 10.7556/jaoa.19126.96.36.1998.
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This survey of the 1992 graduates of colleges of osteopathic medicine included questions regarding their identification with the osteopathic medical profession from application to medical school through residency training and practice. Findings of the study demonstrate that a large majority of graduates regard the profession positively. However, many express concerns about the limited training in advanced osteopathic manipulative skills, with several indicating a low level of confidence in integrating osteopathic techniques into clinical practice. Study respondents also assert that the osteopathic medical profession has yet to effectively project and promote its distinctiveness to the general public. These factors affect the overall identification and affiliation of the respondents to the osteopathic medical profession.
Previous anecdotal and research reports suggested that a migration of graduates into non osteopathic postgraduate training programs and the de-emphasis of osteopathic manipulative medicine in clinical training sites have created an identity crisis within the profession. These reports stimulated the undertaking of this study. Challenges to the profession addressed in this paper include: (1) requiring advanced training in osteopathic manipulative medicine after the second year of medical school; (2) creating an awareness of the need for increased professional visibility; (3) producing effective public relations strategies to portray the osteopathic medical profession accurately; and (4) generating sufficient funds to carry out these strategies.
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