Leadership perspectives on osteopathic medical school applicants to pathology residency training

Melissa R. George, Charles F. Timmons, Kristen Johnson, Stephanie Barak, Mary P. Berg, Bronwyn Bryant, John M. Childs, Julie Katz Karp, Barbara E.C. Knollmann-Ritschel, Amanda Lofgreen, Thomas McCarthy, Victor G. Prieto, Gary W. Procop, Tyler Sandersfeld, Kristie L. White, Cindy B. McCloskey

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The number of graduating allopathic (MD) medical students matching into pathology has declined in recent years, while the number of osteopathic (DO) medical students has increased modestly, given the rapid expansion of osteopathic medical schools. Nonscholarly publications and materials on the internet often perpetuate negative perceptions of osteopathic physicians. Anecdotally, perspectives exist that some pathology residency programs are not DO-friendly; however, the reasons and how widespread an effect this might be are unclear. Our survey queried pathology chairs and residency program directors about their perceptions of osteopathic applicants and their knowledge of osteopathic medical school/training in general. This study utilized two similar, parallel surveys of pathology chairs and residency program directors with general questions structured around the perceptions and knowledge of both allopathic and osteopathic physicians, their medical training, and the consideration of osteopathic applicants to pathology residency. Pathology residency leaders acknowledge some negative perceptions of osteopathic physicians in the medical profession, the news, and social media. They also have some knowledge and perception gaps regarding osteopathic training and applicants, although experience with training osteopathic physicians as residents has been equivalent to that with allopathic physicians, and consideration appears to be fairly equal for osteopathic applicants. Even though negative perceptions of osteopathic physicians persist in news and social media, our surveys demonstrate that the leadership of pathology residency programs does not hold the same degree of bias and that DOs perform well in allopathic pathology residency programs without evidence of inferior outcomes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number100107
JournalAcademic Pathology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2024

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine

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