American Osteopathic Association

Advancing the distinctive philosophy and practice of osteopathic medicine

What Is AOA Accreditation?

The AOA is currently the only accrediting body for osteopathic graduate medical education (OGME) programs. However, the AOA, along with the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) and the American Association of Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine (AACOM), have agreed to a single GME accreditation system, with all AOA-accredited training programs transitioning to ACGME recognition and accreditation between July 1, 2015 and June 20, 2020. Read more about this transition and view Frequently Asked Questions.

Under the current accreditation system, the AOA reviews and approves all osteopathic training programs, develops and approves training standards, establishes policy, sets requirements for program inspections and develops and approves program forms and applications, including the Application for a New Residency Training Program application.

The AOA also approves dual and parallel osteopathic training programs in settings that have allopathic (MD) training programs accredited by ACGME. A dual program is a residency that is accredited by both the AOA and ACGME. Osteopathic residents in dual programs receive AOA credit and may receive ACGME credit at the discretion of the ACGME program.

A parallel program is an AOA-approved training program that is conducted alongside an ACGME program in the same specialty and hospital. The programs and trainees in parallel programs are separately approved and registered by their respective accrediting body, the AOA or ACGME. In parallel programs, osteopathic trainees receive only AOA credit.

The primary difference between dual and parallel programs is that trainees who complete dual programs have the option of becoming board certified by either or both the AOA and the American Board of Medical Specialties. Trainees completing parallel programs are eligible to become AOA Board certified.

Basic Requirements

As the accrediting body, the AOA establishes basic requirements, policies and procedures for OGME programs to ensure that residents receive the training they need to deliver high quality patient care. Among these requirements are: