Ramos RL, Cuoco JA, Guercio E, Levitan T. Quantitative Description of Medical Student Interest in Neurology and Psychiatry. J Am Osteopath Assoc 2016;116(7):462–471. doi: 10.7556/jaoa.2016.090.
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Context: Given the well-documented shortage of physicians in primary care and several other specialties, quantitative understanding of residency application and matching data among osteopathic and allopathic medical students has implications for predicting trends in the physician workforce.
Objectives: To estimate medical student interest in neurology and psychiatry based on numbers of applicants and matches to neurology and psychiatry osteopathic and allopathic residency programs. Also, to gauge students’ previous academic experience with brain and cognitive sciences.
Methods: The number of available postgraduate year 1 positions, applicants, and matches from graduating years 2011 through 2015 were collected from the National Matching Services Inc and the American Association of Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine for osteopathic programs and the National Resident Matching Program and the Association of American Medical Colleges for allopathic programs. To determine and compare osteopathic and allopathic medical students’ interest in neurology and psychiatry, the number of positions, applicants, and matches were analyzed considering the number of total osteopathic and allopathic graduates in the given year using 2-tailed χ2 analyses with Yates correction. In addition, osteopathic and allopathic medical schools’ websites were reviewed to determine whether neurology and psychiatry rotations were required. Osteopathic medical students’ reported undergraduate majors were also gathered.
Results: Compared with allopathic medical students, osteopathic medical students had significantly greater interest (as measured by applicants) in neurology (χ21=11.85, P<.001) and psychiatry (χ21=39.07, P<.001), and an equal proportion of osteopathic and allopathic medical students matched in neurology and psychiatry residency programs. Approximately 6% of osteopathic vs nearly 85% of allopathic medical schools had required neurology rotations. Nearly 10% of osteopathic applicants and matriculants had undergraduate coursework in brain and cognitive sciences.
Conclusion: Osteopathic medical students demonstrated greater interest than allopathic medical students in neurology and psychiatry based on the proportion of residency program applicants but similar interests as measured by matches. Required rotations did not appear to influence students’ interests.
This Medical Education section represents a new collaboration between the JAOA and the American Association of Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine (AACOM) to recruit, peer review, edit, and distribute articles through the JAOA on osteopathic medical education research and other scholarly issues related to medical education.
a All data represent postgraduate year 1.
b In the given years, only osteopathic medical students were allowed to enter osteopathic residency programs.
Abbreviation: NA, not available.
Sources: National Matching Services Inc; National Resident Matching Program; American Association of Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine35; Association of American Medical Colleges.36
a Data are presented as No. (%). Data do add up to given totals because less common majors are not listed.
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