SHM Joins CMSS Statement in Support of Osteopathic Physicians
Council of Medical Specialty Societies (CMSS) Statement in Support of Osteopathic Physicians
October 21, 2020
SHM's Policy Efforts
SHM supports legislation that affects hospital medicine and general healthcare, advocating for hospitalists and the patients they serve.
The Council of Medical Specialty Societies (CMSS) is deeply troubled by the recent negative portrayal of osteopathic physicians. As leading medical organizations that represent more than 800,000 physician members across 45 specialty societies, we stand together to combat these ill-informed mischaracterization.
We, the undersigned medical specialty societies fully recognize the qualifications and contributions of physicians trained in osteopathic medicine. Doctors of medicine (MDs) and doctors of osteopathic medicine (DOs) graduate from nationally accredited medical schools. Today, more than 25% of all US medical students attend osteopathic medical schools.
Just like MDs, DOs complete post-graduate training, including residency and fellowships, in their selected specialty field. DOs and MDs practice side-by-side during and after this training in every specialty. Osteopathic physicians are fully licensed to practice medicine in all 50 states and currently represent more than 10% of the US physician workforce. According to 2019 figures from the American Osteopathic Association, nearly 57% of DOs practice in primary care specialties: 31.4% are family physicians, 18.1% are internists, and 6.89% are pediatricians.
Our organizations represent hundreds of thousands of physicians across the country, DOs and MDs alike. DOs and MDs take an oath to place the care and wellbeing of others before themselves, and their degrees do not alter that pledge or their qualifications to uphold it. As healers servicing the health needs of our country, all of us, with equal goals and a shared voice, must call out those who denigrate our colleagues through racism, sexism or misinformation. To do any less would blemish not one professional group, but all. We stand with our osteopathic physician colleagues and members, and together, rise to meet our collective call to ensure the health of all Americans.