Introduction: With the recent merger of the American Osteopathic Association (AOA) and the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) a heightened pressure for publication may become evident. Our objective was to determine whether there was a gap in the type of both medical degree designation and advanced degree designation among authorship in three United States-based academic emergency medicine journals.
Methods: We reviewed the Journal of Emergency Medicine, Academic Emergency Medicine and Annals of Emergency Medicine for the type of degree designation that the first and senior authors had obtained for the years 1995, 2000, 2005, 2010 and 2014.
Results: A total of 2.48% of all authors held a degree in osteopathic medicine. Osteopathic physician first authors contributed to 3.26% of all publications while osteopathic physician senior authors contributed 1.53%. No statistical trend could be established for the years studied for osteopathic physicians. However, we noted an overall trend for increased publication for allopathic senior authors (p=0.001), allopathic first authors with a dual degree (p=0.003) and allopathic senior authors with a dual degree (p=0.005). For each journal studied, no statistical trend could be established for osteopathic first or senior authors but a trend was noted for allopathic first and senior authors in the Journal of Emergency Medicine (p-value=0.020 and 0.006). Of those with dual degrees, osteopathic physicians were in the minority with 1.85% of osteopathic first authors and 0.60% of osteopathic senior authors attaining a dual degree. No statistical trend could be established for increased dual degree publications for osteopathic physicians over the study period, nor could a statistical trend be established for any of the journals studied.
Conclusion: Very few osteopathic physicians have published in the Journal of Emergency Medicine, Academic Emergency Medicine or Annals of Emergency Medicine over the last two decades. Despite a trend for increased publication by allopathic physicians in certain journals, there appears to be no trend for increased publication of osteopathic physicians in emergency medicine.