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Student Attitudes About Osteopathic Medical Schools: Increasing Student Willingness to Apply

Mattiace, Stephen M. (2022) Student Attitudes About Osteopathic Medical Schools: Increasing Student Willingness to Apply. Doctoral Dissertation, University of Pittsburgh. (Unpublished)

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Students in pre-medical programs often choose not to apply to colleges of osteopathic medicine due to historical division and bias in the medical environment. These choices are present even when students have a higher likelihood of being admitted to osteopathic programs. Previous research has attempted to understand the attitudes that students have concerning osteopathic medicine and prior interventions have sought to change student perceptions and actions in relation to osteopathic medicine. Providing opportunities for students in the Biomedical Masters Program at the University of Pittsburgh to learn more about the education, practice, and their alignment with osteopathic medicine may lead to higher matriculation to future professional programs after students complete the program.
The Osteopathic Pathway Initiative intervention proposed in this study sought to improve student attitudes and increase student applications to colleges of osteopathic medicine. Interventions included panels, educational activities exploration of osteopathic medical colleges throughout the academic year. An attitudinal measure was used to collect data about student perceptions of osteopathic medicine. Data was collected three times, at the beginning of the program, halfway through and at the end of the program. Additional data on student demographics and application plans was collected from program records, deidentified and paired with the attitude measure data using a randomly assigned identifier.

The data set was deemed inappropriate for statistical analysis due to low participation in certain treatment groups and very little change in overall positive attitude scores across time. However, this provides ample opportunity to continue to explore why students had positive attitudes to begin with, including the impact of previous pre-medical preparation and completion of a bachelor’s degree. The impact on the cohort of students due to the BMP selection process is also discussed. Other influences on this group of students, including the Covid 19 Pandemic and the potential for social-desirability effect, are also examined. The benefits of the interventions remain high, as there is positive impact of exposure to students, and there are future plans for continuous improvement to ensure success of the Osteopathic Pathway Initiative in successive iterations.


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Item Type: University of Pittsburgh ETD
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Mattiace, Stephen M.s.mattiace@pitt.edustm98
ETD Committee:
TitleMemberEmail AddressPitt UsernameORCID
Committee ChairGunzenhauser,
Committee MemberPerry, Jill
Committee MemberDrain, Peter
Date: 31 August 2022
Date Type: Publication
Defense Date: 29 June 2022
Approval Date: 31 August 2022
Submission Date: 4 August 2022
Access Restriction: No restriction; Release the ETD for access worldwide immediately.
Number of Pages: 88
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: School of Education > Administrative and Policy Studies
Degree: EdD - Doctor of Education
Thesis Type: Doctoral Dissertation
Refereed: Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords: Osteopathic Medicine, Premedical, Biomedical Masters Program, Allopathic Medicine, BMP, Promoting COM applications,
Date Deposited: 31 Aug 2022 18:22
Last Modified: 31 Aug 2022 18:22


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