ACGME issues procedures for investigation and enforcement of non-compliance with its COVID-19 requirements


During the COVID-19 pandemic, the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) has granted a significant degree of flexibility to accredited sponsoring institutions and programs to meet the increased clinical demands created by the pandemic. It has also reaffirmed its expectation of strict compliance with four primary requirements in commitment to the safety and well-being of the graduate medical education (GME) community, which includes residents, fellows, teaching physicians and the patients they serve. Those four requirements are:

  1. Work hour requirements
  2. Adequate resources and training (including personal protective equipment)
  3. Adequate supervision
  4. Fellows performing in their core (primary) specialty

As the clinical needs and circumstances during the pandemic continue to evolve, the ACGME has specified three escalating stages of GME but has repeatedly asserted that compliance with the above requirements is necessary regardless of an accredited institution’s designated GME pandemic stage.

ACGME has updated its Accreditation Policies and Procedures Manual to include new Procedures for Alleged Egregious Events in order to address how complaints and concerns of alleged non-compliance with the above COVID-19 priority requirements will be promptly investigated. The new section outlines the process for investigation, review and potential actions, including public sanction of institutions and/or programs. Institutions and programs that receive a public sanction will be required to notify current residents and fellows, as well as new applicants, including the reason for the sanction.

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