CMSS Statement in Support of Osteopathic Physicians

October 26, 2020

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 mischaracterizations.

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. Both groups have unified training requirements through the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) and meet the same licensure requirements. 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. 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 disparage 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.

Council of Medical Specialty Societies

American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology
American Academy of Family Physicians
American Academy of Hospice and Palliative Medicine
American Academy of Neurology
American Academy of Pediatrics
American Academy of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation
American Association of Clinical Endocrinology
American College of Emergency Physicians
American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists
American College of Physicians
American College of Preventive Medicine
American College of Radiology
American College of Surgeons
American Epilepsy Society
American Geriatrics Society
American Psychiatric Association
American Society for Clinical Pathology
American Society for Radiation Oncology
American Society for Reproductive Medicine
American Society of Anesthesiologists
American Society of Clinical Oncology
American Society of Colon and Rectal Surgeons
American Society of Hematology
American Society of Nephrology
American Thoracic Society
American Urological Association
Infectious Diseases Society of America
Society for Vascular Surgery
Society of Gynecologic Oncology
Society of Hospital Medicine
Society of Interventional Radiology
Society of Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging
Society of Thoracic Surgeons