February 20, 2020 - Research

Published: Allopathic (MD) and Osteopathic (DO) Performance on the American Board of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Initial Certifying Examinations

Summary by James Sliwa, DO

Osteopathic physicians (DOs) represent over 30% of residents training in Allopathic (MD) Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) accredited PM&R training programs. However, some have questioned the quality of osteopathic medical training and the graduates of osteopathic medical schools. This study compared allopathic (MD) and osteopathic (DO) performance on ABPMR initial certifying examinations.

Of the 2187 physicians who were first time ABPMR initial certifying examination takers, 1596 (73%) were MDs and 591 (27%) were DOs. No statistically significant difference was found in pass rates between MDs and DOs on Part I or Part II of the ABPMR certifying examination. Analysis of mean scaled scores demonstrated higher MD scores on both Part I and Part II, but significant only in programs with a 90-100% pass rate. These differences, however, were of very small magnitude and likely not meaningful from a clinical or educational perspective.

Click on the link below to read the abstract or download the full article.

Allopathic (MD) and Osteopathic (DO) Performance on the American Board of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Initial Certifying Examinations.

Sliwa JA, Raddatz MM, Kinney CL, Clark G, Robinson LR. Allopathic (MD) and Osteopathic (DO) Performance on the American Board of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Initial Certifying Examinations. Journal of PM&R. 2019. doi: 10.1002/pmrj.12311