Caring for people with disabilities: a comparison of medical training at allopathic and osteopathic medical schools
Marinelli, Timothy P.
MetadataShow full item record
OBJECTIVE: To determine the proportion of osteopathic and allopathic medical schools that offer courses and clerkships related to the care of people with disabilities. DESIGN: Faculty members from 28 osteopathic schools and 28 allopathic medical schools were asked to complete a short survey that contained objective and subjective questions about the availability of curriculum offerings related to caring for people with disabilities at their institution. RESULTS: We found no statistically significant differences between measures in the survey which might have suggested that there was a difference between the proportion of osteopathic and allopathic schools that provide coursework related to the care of people with disabilities. However, we found that 50% of osteopathic schools offer a course or clerkship that is primarily devoted to this subject, compared with 40% of allopathic schools. Additionally, 86% of osteopathic schools offer a course or clerkship that is partially related to this subject, compared to 88% of allopathic schools. DISCUSSION: Osteopathic and allopathic institutions are similarly equipped to train their students to treat patients with disabilities, as indicated by the fact that none of the measured differences reached statistical significance. The data suggest that 9-12% of medical students were required to participate in a course or clerkship that is primarily focused on care for people with disabilities, and 66- 77% of medical students will be required to participate in a course that contains material related to this subject. CONCLUSION: Although less than 100% of medical students graduate with experience related to treating people with disabilities, the fact that medical faculty realize the importance of this issue and that the majority of schools require students to participate with some experience suggests that the medical world is responding to this important issue.
Thesis (M.A.)--Boston University