MD and DO: Differing Medical Degrees and the Associated Perceptions

Curr Probl Diagn Radiol. 2020 Aug 26;S0363-0188(20)30146-8. doi: 10.1067/j.cpradiol.2020.08.004. Online ahead of print.

Abstract

Purpose: To highlight perspectives about differing medical degrees and graduate medical education amongst current allopathic (MD) and osteopathic (DO) radiology residents.

Materials and method: Two hundred sixty-eight radiology residents were interviewed using an approved Association of Program Coordinators in Radiology (APCR) survey designed to evaluate perceptions of allopathic and osteopathic radiology residents regarding type of medical degree and their career development. The surveys were kept anonymous with no identifiable information. Residents in their first through fourth years of training replied with an approximate equal distribution amongst the different years.

Results: Based on the 268 respondents, DOs' more so than MDs', reported that their degree type altered their medical careers (P < 0.0001) and that they were advised to not pursue a radiology residency based on degree type (P< 0.0001). In addition, a large majority of both DOs' and MDs' felt that residency selection is favored towards the allopathic degree (P= 0.0451).

Conclusion: This survey-based study does reveal perceived differences in the residency recruitment process based on degree type. Future discussions to bridge this perceived gap will be important, especially in light of the recent ACGME merger between the 2 educational pathways.