Joint Statement Regarding Osteopathic Physicians and Emergency Medicine

Released October 14, 2020
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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 US. 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 US.

This year 27.4% of physicians entering emergency medicine training were graduates of U.S. Osteopathic schools and hence have the degree DO after their names. 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 US 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 DO and MDs-and ask that our support and solidarity be widely disseminated to educate the public.

Robert E. Suter, DO, MHA, FACEOP-D, FIFEM
American College of Osteopathic Emergency Physicians [ACOEP]

Hannah R. Hughes, MD, MBA
Emergency Medicine Residents’ Association [EMRA]

James F. Holmes, Jr., MD, MPH
Society of Academic Emergency Medicine [SAEM]

Haig Aintablian, MD
AAEM Resident and Student Association [AAEM/RSA]

Bill Jaquis, MD, FACEP
American College of Emergency Physicians [ACEP]

Mary Nan Mallory, MD
American Board of Emergency Medicine [ABEM]

Kaya R. Smith, DO
ACOEP-Resident Student Organization [ACOEP-RSO]

Fiona E. Gallahue, MD
Council of Residency Directors in Emergency Medicine [CORD]

Andrew B. Starnes, MD, MPH
SAEM-Residents and Medical Students [SAEM-RAMS]

Lisa A. Moreno, MD, MS, MSCR, FAAEM, FIFEM
American Academy of Emergency Medicine [AAEM]

Eric Appelbaum, DO
American Osteopathic Board of Emergency Medicine [AOBEM]

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