Transition to a single graduate medical education (GME) accreditation system


The American Osteopathic Association (AOA) remains committed to consistent training pathways for osteopathic resident physicians as programs finalize the transition to a single accreditation system for graduate medical education (GME). All residency programs need to be accredited by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) by June 30, 2020.

With the five-year transition period, which opened in 2015, closing soon, all AOA-approved institutions and programs that applied for ACGME accreditation should be implementing any updates needed for ACGME accreditation requirements in order to continue pre-accreditation status and/or attain initial accreditation, including:

  • educating institution and program leadership on ACGME institutional and program requirements and review processes;
  • completing or updating program letters of agreement (PLAs) with all ACGME program requirements; and
  • engaging program directors and teaching physicians in order to increase scholarly activities and improve educational experiences.

As the AOA guides residency programs through this process, it is critical for residents to know what options are available throughout the transition.

Most AOA institutions have achieved ACGME accreditation, but residents in programs that have not or do not achieve ACGME accreditation may be able to transfer to another accredited program.

AOA is tracking the status of its programs and has an agreement with ACGME and the American Association of Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine (AACOM) for unique circumstances in order to protect residents in programs that have not achieved ACGME accreditation by June 30, 2020. This agreement allows AOA to extend the AOA accreditation date for such programs and permit any remaining residents to complete training.

AOA has also confirmed that all residents who have completed an AOA or ACGME accredited program will be eligible for AOA board certification. This allows residents still in training in a program that does not achieve ACGME accreditation to complete an AOA-accredited training and advance to AOA board eligibility.

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