Joint Statement Released Regarding Osteopathic Physicians and Emergency Medicine

ICEP stands in support of the joint statement released by the EM community regarding osteopathic physicians and emergency medicine, after recently disparaging notices and an advertisement about DOs, and female DOs in particular, have circulated online and in the press.

Joint Statement Regarding Osteopathic Physicians and Emergency Medicine

Released October 14, 2020

The entire Emergency Medicine community, as represented by the undersigned organizations, is disheartened to see recent comments and national news stories that might confuse the public about the training and scope of practice of osteopathic physicians and emergency medicine specialists.

Doctors of Osteopathic Medicine (DOs) make up a substantial segment of the fully licensed practicing physicians in the U.S. DOs complete the same years of medical school as MDs, earning state licenses to practice the full scope of medicine and surgery and entering the same pathways to residency in all specialties in the U.S.

This year 27.4% of physicians entering emergency medicine training were graduates of U.S. Osteopathic school and hence have the degree DO after their name. Osteopathic physicians practicing Emergency Medicine serve in all health care settings including rural, urban, and military. Osteopathic physicians have served as military Surgeon General, and multiple emergency physicians have served as the physician to the president.

Over 42,000 emergency physicians, both MDs and DOs, are distinctly trained, certified, and uniquely qualified to lead teams of multi-disciplinary professionals working together to make the best decisions possible for their patients. These tireless front line professionals stand on the front lines, day in and day out, in all of the emergency departments in the U.S. and worldwide, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. With gratitude we proudly stand in support of all practicing emergency physicians — both DOs and MDs — and ask that our support and solidarity be widely disseminated to educate the public. 

The statement was signed by the presidents of the 11 emergency medicine specialty organizations: ACEP, EMRA, ACOEP, ACOEP-RSO, CORD, SAEM, SAEM-RAMS, AAEM, AAEM/RSA, ABEM, and AOBEM.

View Joint Statement (PDF)

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