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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Factors Important to Applicants to Osteopathic Versus Allopathic Emergency Medicine Residency Programs


Introduction: Our objective is to evaluate the factors important to osteopathic applicants when selecting an American College of Osteopathic Emergency Physicians accredited emergency medicine (EM) residency and to compare these results with previous allopathic EM studies.

Methods: We gave osteopathic applicants a survey during interview season to be filled out anonymously at the end of their interview day. This survey included 18 factors which the applicants were asked to rank between 1 (“not very important”) to 4 (“very important”). We then compared results to prior results of the same survey.

Results: Forty applicants (67%) out of 60 completed the survey. From these individuals, we noticed differences in the top factors listed by the applicants when compared to allopathic interviewees, the most notable being the unimportance of geographic location of the program to osteopathic applicants as manifested by osteopathic student average score of 2.8 (standard deviation 0.75) verses allopathic student average of 3.6 (standard deviation 0.06).

Conclusion: Of the top 5 factors listed by the applicants, only 1 (AOA-approved residency) is an objective factor that the program has a role in controlling. The remainder are mainly subjective factors based on applicant’s perceptions of the program. [West J Emerg Med. 2014;15(2):184–187.]

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