ACGME Updated Common Program Requirements Implementation Date
Oct. 21, 2013
The ACGME has delayed the implementation date of the revised Common Program Requirements. The amended requirements, as modified by the ACGME Board of Directors, have been posted on the ACGME’s website. Although the ACGME Board approved going forward with the Common Program Requirements, there are a few positive changes to note:
The implementation of the new requirements has been delayed by one year until July 2016.
Fellowship programs are allowed to select “exceptionally qualified applicants” who completed residency training in non-ACGME programs, including physicians who completed prior training in AOA-approved residency programs.
Individual Residency Review Committees are allowed to grant exceptions at the fellowship level and not require prior that residency training have been completed in ACGME or Canadian programs.
The ACGME Board did not approve the proposed language that would have given physicians with residency training in ACGME-International programs the same status as physicians with ACGME or Canadian residency training.
The requirements, which will limit the ability of interns and residents in AOA-approved residency programs to transfer into ACGME residency and fellowship programs, had been scheduled to go into effect on July 1, 2015. In September, the AOA and the American Association of Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine once again submitted comments in opposition to the requirements. Later that month, AOA Trustee Boyd R. Buser, DO, testified at the ACGME Committee on Requirements’ meeting.
The AOA understands that the new rules are causing confusion and anxiety. We are committed to helping our students, interns and residents understand the new rules and make the best decision regarding residency training for their careers. We continue to reach out to the ACGME and its member organizations in an effort to work collaboratively on improving postdoctoral training in the United States. The one-year implementation delay reflects the issue’s complexity. It also gives the AOA and AACOM additional time to communicate with the ACGME about concerns that led us to reject the proposed memorandum of understanding.
AOA Submits Response Opposing Common Program Requirements
Sept. 13, 2013
On Sept. 9, the AOA submitted a formal response reiterating our opposition to the Common Program Requirements. When the issue emerged in late 2011, our goal was to preserve access to ACGME training programs for DOs, but not at the expense of core principles that protect our distinctiveness and our identity.
It remains our goal today, and it’s why we’ve called for the ACGME once again to rescind the proposed Common Program Requirements in its entirety. The ACGME has yet to produce validated evidence to demonstrate the efficacy of the Next Accreditation System over the current ACGME, AOA and Canadian Systems, or the need to exclude DOs who have trained in AOA programs.
If the program requirements are not rescinded for DO graduates, we believe less restrictive alternatives can also be adopted including:
Sharing more information with ACGME about AOA training and milestones to allow DO graduates as an exception into ACGME residency and fellowship programs after they have trained in an AOA program.
Allowing program directors and directors of medical education the discretionary authority to make the decision on the best candidates for their programs.
Accepting COMLEX-USA as a criterion for application to ACGME training programs by DO graduates as it is recognized by state licensing boards in all 50 states and the District of Columbia as the most appropriate instrument for measuring competencies of osteopathic physicians.
Communicating to residents, programs and the graduate medical education community exactly when the Common Program Requirements will go into effect. Until that time, programs should not deny DO graduates from entering ACGME programs based on the anticipated requirements.
With the physician shortage, an increasing patient base and limited resources to support GME, we hope that ACGME will consider these important points in their continued discussions on the Common Program Requirements.
Thank you to all of the osteopathic affiliates, especially the AOA Council on Student Affairs, that supplied feedback to us for our Sept. 9 letter.
ACGME Posts Proposed Revisions to Eligibility Requirements
Aug. 20, 2013
The Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education has posted proposed revisions to the Common Program Requirements which create exceptions at the fellowship level for "exceptionally qualified applicants" (Section III.A.2), but also give preferred status to international medical graduates who train in ACGME-International accredited training programs. View the eligibility requirements on the ACGME website.
AOA, AACOM and ACGME Issue Joint Statement
Aug. 8, 2013:
After lengthy discussions, the American Osteopathic Association, the American Association of Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine and the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education have not reached an agreement on a single graduate medical education accreditation system. All three organizations remain committed to work toward improving graduate medical education for the benefit of the public, patients, and resident physicians in training programs.
Support Continues for Discussions on Unified Accreditation System
July 19, 2013:
Over the last 18 months, the American Osteopathic Association (AOA) and the American Association of Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine (AACOM) have been exploring the possibility of a new unified graduate medical education (GME) accreditation system with the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME).
The AOA and AACOM announced during the AOA’s Annual Business Meeting, held July 16-21, 2013, that to date they have been unsuccessful in reaching an agreement with ACGME on a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) for a unified graduate medical education accreditation system. However, the AOA and AACOM remain open to continued discussions with the ACGME.
The AOA and AACOM strongly believe that the health of the American public will benefit from a uniform path of preparation for the next generation of physicians designed to evaluate the effectiveness of GME programs in producing competent physicians.
The AOA also remains committed to protecting the distinctiveness and identity of the osteopathic medical profession including the five core principles that were significant to developing a unified graduate medical education accreditation system including:
The discussion is limited to GME and does not extend backward to undergraduate medical education or forward to licensing or certification.
The osteopathic medicine licensing examination (COMLEX-USA) remains in place and viable.
Osteopathic board certification remains in place and viable.
Osteopathic physicians must be given an equal opportunity to participate in all training programs under any unified accreditation system.
Any unified accreditation system must not adversely affect primary care programs in community-based settings.
The osteopathic medical profession will continue to grow OGME programs across the U.S. to ensure that all DO graduates have a place to train once they graduate. In fact, just this past year, more than 1,100 new OGME positions were created within 75 new programs. This means that now there are more than 12,000 osteopathic graduate medical education positions available.
We thank the osteopathic medical community for your feedback, your support and your patience during this discussion period. We can assure you that the AOA and AACOM remain strong in protecting the identity and distinctiveness of the osteopathic medical profession while ensuring that our training programs are of top quality.