Evaluation of current educational methods incorporating Osteopathic Manipulative Medicine (OMM) into family medicine and internal medicine residency programs.




Kasinc, Krista DO
Nichols, Jared
Passmore, Cindy


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Abstract Purpose: Osteopathic manipulative treatment (OMT) is one distinctive feature of osteopathic medical education and practice. Over the past two decades, multiple studies have cited concern over the decreased use of OMT by practicing osteopathic physicians [1, 2]. Some surveys of third- and fourth-year osteopathic medical students have shown that a majority of them intend to use OMT in their future practices [3, 4], but multiple surveys of practicing osteopathic physicians have shown low rates of OMT utilization in practice: over half of respondents used OMT for fewer than 5% of their patients; and 44% reported not using OMT at all [2, 5, 6]. Respondents indicated that their use of OMT in practice correlated with the extent of their clinical training, particularly during residency [2]. Therefore, the purpose of this study is to evaluate the barriers of OMT utilization by residents, and to determine potential changes needed in current and future osteopathic education to increase OMT’s use. Methods: A 28 question survey using the survey tool Qualtrix was sent to AOA and ACGME family medicine and internal medicine programs in the United States using an email link. Contacts of the programs coordinators and directors were obtained from public databases courtesy of the AOA and ACGME. Program contacts were asked to forward the survey link to the applicable residents (FM and IM residents only). Other residents that may have taken the survey unintentionally were excluded. Three reminders were sent via email 2 weeks apart. Participation was voluntary and participants could choose not to complete the survey without penalty. No incentive was offered for completion of the study. Information received in this study was reported out in anonymous form only through the use of a generic hyperlink in the recruitment email that gave subjects access to the survey instrument. No names or personally identifying information was gathered through the survey. Only the named study investigators have access to the data. Results: (Data collection is still ongoing and final numbers may change.) In the survey, 93% of Osteopathic respondents in the survey believed OMT to be an effective treatment for somatic dysfunction. However, out of these same respondents, 79% stated one of the barriers to preforming OMT on their patients was lack of time. Another large minority also noted lack of skill, and lack of supervision as obstacles. Conclusion: In conclusion, osteopathic education seems to be valuable in teaching the influence osteopathic manipulation may have. However, osteopathic educators may not be emphasizing how to incorporate OMT into the primary care setting. Therefore it may be beneficial to incorporate more case driven scenarios in undergraduate osteopathic education.