Background and objectives: American Osteopathic Association (AOA) accreditation of Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) family medicine residency programs began in the early 1990s to increase the number of Osteopathic Graduate Medical Education (OGME) training positions in family medicine. Despite the rapid expansion of family medicine residencies accredited by both the AOA and the ACGME, little has been published about issues facing these programs.
Methods: We developed an Internet-based survey for osteopathic program directors of dual-accredited family medicine residency programs in 2009. All 98 osteopathic family medicine program directors were surveyed, and 72 programs met the study's inclusion criteria of having graduated at least one class of dual-accredited residents.
Results: We received 56 responses (78%) to the survey. Sixty-four percent of study participants indicated that the primary benefit of dual accreditation was to attract more applicants who are US graduates. Sixty-six percent of respondents reported that less than 50% of their DO graduates take the ABFM board exam, citing cost as the primary reason. Additionally, 21% of study participants report that the annual cost of maintaining dual accreditation was greater than $20,000.
Conclusions: A substantial number of osteopathic residents graduating from dual-accredited programs are not seeking board certification by the ABFM, but our study participants felt confident that their programs would maintain dual AOA-ACGME accreditation even if there was a significant increase in US MD applicants.