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Background: Podiatric and osteopathic medical students at Des Moines University take the same basic science medical curriculum. The first course students complete is medical biochemistry. The final common course is the second-year medical pharmacology course. Attrition typically occurs between these academic offerings. We sought to compare admissions data, retention rates, and academic performance between these two groups of medical students for the classes of 2008 to 2011.
Methods: Average admission scores, performance scores for the biochemistry and medical pharmacology courses, and retention rates for the 2008 to 2011 classes were obtained from the registrar and enrollment offices. One-way analysis of variance was used to compare the scores of the two cohorts. Linear regression was used to identify changes across time.
Results: The DO students showed significantly better performance than the DPM students in matriculating overall and science grade point averages, total Medical College Admissions Test scores, retention rates, and the medical biochemistry course (P < .01). There was no difference in the performance of the student groups in the medical pharmacology course. The DPM student scores across the four classes increased for both academic courses, whereas the DO student scores remained at the same level for medical biochemistry, at a rate of 0.74% per year (R2 = 0.50), and pharmacology, at a rate of 0.90% per year (R2 = 0.49).
Conclusions: Admissions data and initial academic performance of osteopathic medical students were higher than those of podiatric medical students. Once attrition occurred in year 1, the difference in academic performance between these groups of students was no longer statistically significant, and students in both medical programs at that time in the curriculum are equally academically qualified. (J Am Podiatr Med Assoc 100(4): 276–280, 2010)
Background: This study was designed to compare the vitamin D levels in a cohort of nondiabetic patients to populations of diabetic patients with and without Charcot neuroarthropathy.
Methods: A total of 41 participants (22 male, 19 female) with a mean ± SD age of 59 ± 9.43 years had serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D levels tested. Fifteen participants composed the nondiabetic group; 13, the group with diabetes but without Charcot neuroarthropathy; and 13, the group with both diabetes and Charcot neuroarthropathy.
Results: The results of the study showed that the vitamin D levels in both diabetic populations were significantly lower (P < .05) than the nondiabetic population. There was no statistical difference between the group with diabetes but without Charcot foot disease and the group with both diabetes and Charcot neuroarthropathy.
Conclusions: Based on the results of this study, given the importance of vitamin D in bone metabolism and the osseous consequences associated with diabetes, as well as other systems affected by low levels of vitamin D in the diabetic patient, it appears that vitamin D levels should be monitored in diabetic patients. (J Am Podiatr Med Assoc 99(1): 35–41, 2009)