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MDs and DOs in Texas

The following analyses examine the number of DOs (Doctors of Osteopathic Medicine) and MDs (Doctors of Medicine) in the Texas physician workforce.  These analyses consider physicians actively practicing in Texas as of 2014 and describe potential relationships between physician type and characteristics such as gender, race, and county designation.

As of 2014, 7.5% of Texas’s 47,289 actively practicing physicians hold a Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine (DO) degree. 

The racial/ethnic composition of physicians is significantly associated with degree type (χ2 (3)=219.6, p<.001). While the article states that physicians pursuing and ultimately practicing osteopathic medicine may be more racially/ethnically diverse than physicians pursuing a MD, the figure below shows that neither physicians with MD nor DO training closely mirror the composition of the Texas population. 36.4% of MDs are non-white, compared to 24.6% of DOs, making MDs somewhat more like the Texas population (of whom 57.2% are non-white); however, black/African American and Hispanic/Latino physicians are still underrepresented among both MDs and DOs.

Figure 1. Comparison of the racial/ethnic composition of DOs and MDs.

Comparison of the racial/ethnic composition of DOs and MDs

Table 1 demonstrates that a higher proportion of more recent medical graduates, regardless of degree type, are non-White. Neither DO nor MD graduates reflect the racial composition of the Texas population, although MD graduates since 2009 are slightly more racially diverse than their DO counterparts.

 

% Graduating between 2004 and 2008

% Graduating after 2008

DO

MD

DO

MD

Black/African American

4.7%

8.1%

5.9%

9.4%

Hispanic/Latino

4.6%

9.5%

6.2%

10.1%

Other

25.2%

27.9%

30.7%

29.4%

White/Caucasian

65.5%

54.5%

57.2%

51.1%

Table 1. Racial composition of physicians by date of graduation and degree type.

MDs are significantly older than DOs, with mean ages of 51.0 and 48.4, respectively (t=-12.5, p<.001). Table 3 below shows that for each race/ethnicity category presented, MDs had an older median age than DOs.

 

Black/African American

Hispanic/Latino

Other

White/Caucasian

Age Groups

DO

MD

DO

MD

DO

MD

DO

MD

<30

1.6%

1.1%

1.9%

0.6%

3.2%

1.2%

0.9%

0.4%

31-40

33.6%

29.0%

31.0%

24.7%

57.6%

32.9%

24.3%

17.4%

41-50

38.4%

33.7%

36.1%

27.3%

30.6%

35.2%

26.6%

26.9%

51-60

18.4%

23.3%

23.9%

27.2%

6.9%

17.5%

24.0%

27.6%

61+

8.0%

12.9%

7.1%

20.3%

1.7%

13.2%

24.2%

27.7%

Table 2. Age Composition of MDs and DOs by Race/Ethnicity.

 

Black/African American

Hispanic/Latino

Other

White/Caucasian

DO

MD

DO

MD

DO

MD

DO

MD

Median Age

43

46

46

50

39

45

50

52

Table 3. Median Age of DOs and MDs by Race/Ethnicity.

Gender was also significantly related to physician degree type (χ2 (1)=7.9, p<.05), with females comprising a slightly higher proportion of DOs (33%) than MDs (30.8%).

Analyses determined there were differences in geographic characteristics between DOs and MDs. Physician degree type (MD vs. DO) was significantly associated with county designation (χ2 (3)=133.6, p<.001). Table 4 shows that the majority of both MDs and DOs practice in metropolitan non-border areas and comparable proportions of MDs and DOs practice in non-metropolitan border counties. However, a higher proportion of DOs practice in non-metropolitan non-border areas than the proportion of MDs. There was a statistically significant association between physician degree type and county designation (χ2 (6)=133.9, p<.001). Further analysis revealed that geographic distribution of each physician type was related to the racial/ethnic composition of the workforce. Race/ethnicity was significantly associated with the geographic distribution of both DOs (χ2 (9)=90.7, p<.001) and MDs (χ2 (9)=(1672.0, p<.001).

 

Table 4. Geographic Distribution of Physicians.
  DO MD
Non-Metro Non-Border

9.1%

4.9%

Non-Metro Border

0.5%

0.4%

Metro Non-Border

86.8%

88.9%

Metro Border

3.5%

5.8%

 

Black/African American

Hispanic/Latino

Other

White/Caucasian

DO

MD

DO

MD

DO

MD

DO

MD

Non-Metro Non-Border

10.5%

4.1%

15.8%

20.6%

0.0%

18.0%

73.7%

57.2%

Non-Metro Border

4.0%

3.9%

3.7%

4.9%

3.7%

14.7%

88.6%

76.5%

Metro Non-Border

4.8%

4.8%

12.9%

33.5%

11.3%

18.6%

71.0%

43.1%

Metro Border

3.4%

5.6%

4.0%

6.6%

18.4%

23.5%

74.2%

64.3%

Table 5. County Designation of DOs and MDs by race/ethnicity.

The linked article indicates that 22% of medical school graduates are now comprised of practitioners of osteopathic medicine. Figure 2 shows that the proportion of Texas’ practicing physicians who graduated between 2009 and 2013 more closely mirrors the cited statistic when compared to the previous five year period.

Figure 2. Proportion of physicians graduating in specified year range by degree type.

 Proportion of physicians graduating in specified year range by degree type

Significantly fewer MDs than DOs list a primary care specialty (χ2 (1)=304.9, p<.001), as seen in the figure below. Moreover, while DOs account for only 7.5% of all physicians in Texas, they account for 10% of all primary care specialists. Within primary care specialties, DOs comprise 15.7% of emergency medical specialists and 17.1% of family medicine specialists.

Figure 3. Proportion of physicians practicing in primary care, by degree type.

PC_NON

Last updated October 22, 2015