(HealthDay)—More than half of osteopathic medical students and recent graduates are matched into primary care residency programs, according to a report from the American Osteopathic Association (AOA).
Noting that osteopathic physicians have historically been committed to providing primary care, the AOA writes that existing osteopathic medical schools are increasing their class sizes and new schools are being established in an effort to help alleviate the projected primary care physician shortage. At present, there are 29 osteopathic medical schools in 37 locations, with more than 21,000 osteopathic medical students.
According to the report, current trends show that 75 percent of the 2,743 students and recent graduates who participated in the AOA Intern/Resident Registration Program successfully matched for 2,064 placements, with primary care accounting for 53 percent of all placements. There was a 9 percent increase in applicants matching into internal medicine, with 439 matched applicants. Increases were also seen in pediatrics (61 applicants; up 33 percent) and obstetrics/gynecology (77 applicants; up 7 percent).
"As the number of future physicians choosing to apply to and attend osteopathic medical schools continues to grow, it is encouraging to also see a steady increase in the number of recent graduates going into primary care," Normal E. Vinn, D.O., president of the AOA, said in a statement.