SURF  |   February 2019
Medical Degree Disparity Among Authors in Obstetrics and Gynecology Journals
Author Notes
  • From the Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine in Erie, Pennsylvania (Student Doctor Merritt); the Department of Research at Conemaugh Memorial Medical Center in Johnstown, Pennsylvania (Mr Simunich); and the Department of Emergency Medicine at Kingman Regional Medical Center in Arizona (Dr Ashurst).  
  • Financial Disclosures: None reported.  
  • Support: The study was partially funded by a Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine/Lake Erie Consortium for Osteopathic Medical Training research support grant.  
  •  *Address correspondence to John Ashurst, DO, MSc, Kingman Regional Medical Center, Department of Emergency Medicine, 3269 Stockton Hill Rd, Kingman, AZ 86409-3619. Email: ashurst.john.32.research@gmail.com
     
Article Information
SURF   |   February 2019
Medical Degree Disparity Among Authors in Obstetrics and Gynecology Journals
The Journal of the American Osteopathic Association, February 2019, Vol. 119, e1-e8. doi:10.7556/jaoa.2019.020
The Journal of the American Osteopathic Association, February 2019, Vol. 119, e1-e8. doi:10.7556/jaoa.2019.020
Web of Science® Times Cited: 1
Abstract

Context: With the transition to a single accreditation system for graduate medical education, the scholarly activity among core faculty in osteopathic and allopathic residency programs has come under scrutiny. Currently, major differences in scholarly activity requirements exist between core faculty in obstetrics and gynecology residencies accredited by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education and those accredited by the American Osteopathic Association.

Objective: To determine whether there is a disparity between osteopathic and allopathic physicians among authors with original research published in 4 high-impact obstetrics and gynecology journals during 4 select years.

Methods: The authors reviewed Obstetrics & Gynecology (Obstet Gynecol), the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology (Am J Obstet Gynecol), Fertility and Sterility (Fertil Steril), and Menopause for the degree designation of the first and senior (last) author of each original manuscript for the years of 2000, 2005, 2010, and 2015. Data were analyzed using simple descriptive statistics and linear regression.

Results: In total, 3311 articles and 5909 authors were reviewed. Of these authors, 0.80% (47) had a DO degree. Of 1692 authors with dual advanced degrees, only 0.53% (9) had a DO degree. On subgroup analysis of each journal, 0.87% (13 of 1494) of identified authors in Obstet Gynecol, 1.03% (21 of 2038) in Am J Obstet Gynecol, 0.44% (9 of 2030) in Fertil Steril, and 2.20% (4 of 347) in Menopause were osteopathic physicians. During the years studied, no statistically significant trend could be established for first or senior author publication by osteopathic physicians over time, for all 4 journals or for any individual journal.

Conclusion: Very few osteopathic physicians have served as either the first or the senior author in articles published in Obstet Gynecol, Am J Obstet Gynecol, Fertil Steril, or Menopause during the years studied, and no trend was seen for increased publication by osteopathic physicians in these journals over time.

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