Research: XU and colleagues, Office

Listed in Issue 25


XU and colleagues, Office of Research, Ohio University College of Osteopathic Medicine, Athens 45701 USA studied the differences between osteopathic and allopathic physicians regarding factors which influenced their career choice of family practice.



Surveyed were 256 osteopathic and 717 allopathic family physicians, who had graduated in 1983 and 1984. Comparisons were made on 19 variables which influenced physicians decision to enter family practice and on the six factor scores derived these 19 variables.


Osteopathic physicians decisions to choose family practice was more influenced by financial obligations, medical school experiences and family values, whereas allopathic physicians were more influenced by personal social value. Overall, medical school experience and personal social value were the two important factors explaining the largest variances of the 19 predictors influencing physicians decisions to enter family practice. Allopathic medical schools whose mission emphasises production of generalist physicians may be able to model approaches already in place in osteopathic medical schools.


In light of the large influence of the personal social value factor in medical students choice to enter family practice medicine, this factor warrants further study.


Xu G et al. A national study of factors influencing the career choice of osteopathic and allopathic family physicians. J Am Osteopath Assoc. 96(12): 737-42. Dec 1996.

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