American Osteopathic Association

Advancing the distinctive philosophy and practice of osteopathic medicine

What is an OPTI?

All OGME programs are part of an Osteopathic Postdoctoral Training Institution (OPTI). Each OPTI is a community-based training consortium comprised of at least one college of osteopathic medicine and one hospital and may include additional hospitals and ambulatory training facilities. For general information about OPTIs, read the Current Status of OPTIs report.  

Key information about each OPTI, including recruitment area, mission and strategic objectives, services provided, and partnerships with colleges of osteopathic medicine and hospitals, will help you make the critical OPTI decision. Search the OPTI Info database to learn more.

By building medical education partnerships, OPTIs enhance educational quality, facilitate sharing of educational resources, provide faculty development, foster cooperative training programs, support community-based medical education, encourage clinical research, and create strong linkages among medical schools, teaching hospitals and ambulatory training facilities.

Basic Requirements

In July 2011, the AOA Basic Standards were amended to require that all AOA-approved OGME programs must function under the sponsorship of an AOA-accredited OPTI no later than July 1, 2012. An OPTI seeking to be the academic sponsor of an AOA-approved program at a “base institution” must have been provisionally accredited for at least 6 months or longer preceding the date of approval of the training program(s). Operational and financial responsibility for a training program remains in its base institution. Base institutions may include hospitals, federally qualified health centers, teaching health centers, freestanding accredited ambulatory surgery centers, and colleges of osteopathic medicine.

Under the revised Basic Standards, academic sponsors are responsible for monitoring OGME programs in their partner base institutions and maintaining OPTI affiliation/sponsor agreements with those institutions. Academic sponsors are accountable for the base institutions’ compliance with AOA policies on contracts, the AOA Match program, quality performance, trainee evaluations, participation in on-site program reviews, and for corrective action plans, internal reviews and core competency compliance. Hospitals are encouraged to select an OPTI early in the process as academic sponsorship is a central part of the program application process.