The Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME), the American Osteopathic Association (AOA), and the American Association of Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine (AACOM) have agreed to a single accreditation system for graduate medical education (GME) programs in the United States. After months of discussion, the allopathic and osteopathic medical communities have committed to work together to prepare future physicians with the highest quality GME, ultimately helping to ensure the quality and safety of health care delivery.
The single accreditation system will allow graduates of allopathic and osteopathic medical schools to complete residency and/or fellowship education in ACGME-accredited programs and demonstrate achievement of common Milestones and competencies. Currently, the ACGME and AOA maintain separate accreditation systems for allopathic and osteopathic educational programs.
“A single system standardizes the approach to GME accreditation, and ensures that all physicians have access to the primary and sub-specialty training necessary to serve patients,” said AOA President Norman E. Vinn, DO. Under the single accreditation system:
- AOA and AACOM will become ACGME member organizations and will nominate members to the ACGME Board of Directors.
- Two new osteopathic Review Committees will be created to evaluate and set standards for the osteopathic aspects of GME programs seeking osteopathic recognition.
- An extended transition period — July 1, 2015 to June 30, 2020 is set for AOA-accredited programs to apply for and receive ACGME recognition and accreditation.
- Opportunity is created for MD and DO graduates who have met the prerequisite competencies to access any GME program or transfer from one accredited program to another without being required to repeat education.
- Efficiencies are realized because institutions need not sponsor “dually accredited” or “parallel accredited” allopathic and osteopathic medical residency programs.