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Impact of an osteopathic presence in a large categorical pediatric residency training program


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Osteopathic Manipulative Treatment

J Osteopath Med. 2021 Jan 1;121(1):35-42.


Elizabeth W Barnhardt, Frances Comer, Elizabeth Zmuda, Alexander Rakowsky 


Context: Nationwide Children's Hospital (NCH) has a large pediatric residency program with 43 residents in the categorical pediatric program and 10 residents in the Internal Medicine-Pediatrics (IM-Peds) program per class. Of the 43 categorical pediatric residents, four are in the osteopathic recognition track (ORT) and continue their osteopathic education throughout residency. There is currently a lack of data examining the effect of an ORT, and specifically a pediatric ORT, on a residency program.

Objective: To evaluate the impact of an ORT osteopathic recognition track on an overall residency program's perceptions of osteopathic manipulative treatment (OMT) and to evaluate allopathic (MD) resident perception of osteopathic educational sessions.

Methods: An anonymous survey was conducted in June 2017 and distributed to 141 residents (both categorical and IM-Peds) to gather baseline information regarding perceptions and knowledge of OMT. Based on the initial results, a four-part case-based educational series was implemented during the 2018-2019 academic year to teach osteopathic principles to MD residents. A second survey was distributed following each session.

Results: For the initial survey, 59 (41.8%) residents responded. Survey results demonstrated that resident perceptions of OMT as an efficacious treatment option increased after starting their residency at NCH (p=0.04), and 25 of 43 (58.1%) MD residents stated an interest in learning OMT skills. A total of 140 attendees were present at the four educational sessions. One hundred and thirty-eight residents (98.5%) found the educational sessions beneficial and 132 (94.2%) stated they would refer a patient for OMT.

Conclusion: ORT residents make a significant impact on their colleagues' perceptions and knowledge of OMT. This study suggests that further efforts to highlight the clinical applications of OMT in pediatric patients would be welcomed by residents.

Publication Date: 

2021 Jan



Barnhardt, WE., Comer, F., Zmuda, E., Rakowsky, A. (2021) 'Impact of an osteopathic presence in a large categorical pediatric residency training program ', J Osteopath Med. 2021 Jan 1;121(1):35-42.

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