ACGME sponsoring institution emergency categorization


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As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, the response and needs of graduate medical education (GME) training programs continue to evolve. In order to adapt to the changing circumstances, the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) announced that it is transitioning away from allowing a sponsoring institution to self-declare its status under the Three Stages of GME during the COVID-19 Pandemic guidance announced on March 24, 2020. Instead, the ACGME is implementing a new approach for the characterization of GME operations during the pandemic, with a Non-Emergency Category (formerly Stages 1 and 2) and an Emergency Category. This approach is effective July 1, 2020.

Under the ACGME’s new approach, institutions must request Emergency Category acknowledgment and still must comply with all ACGME Institutional Requirements throughout the term of the emergency categorization. Programs at sponsoring institutions with emergency categorization must continue to prioritize these areas: work hour requirements; adequate resources and training; adequate supervision; and fellows functioning in their core (primary) specialties.

Institutions that have not requested or are not granted this acknowledgment default to the Non-Emergency Category, in which all ACGME institutional requirements and common and specialty-specific program requirements apply.

ACGME's goal of the new Emergency and Non-Emergency categorization approach is to provide a process for managing accreditation concerns resulting from pandemic-related educational disruption. Regardless of categorization, sponsoring institutions and programs must continue to ensure that residents and fellows can successfully complete their training programs and become eligible for board certification.

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