Posted Oct. 24, 2012
The AOA, the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) and the American Association of Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine (AACOM) have entered into an agreement to pursue a single, unified accreditation system for graduate medical education programs in the United States beginning in July 2015. During the coming months, the three organizations will work toward defining a process, format and timetable for ACGME to accredit all osteopathic graduate medical education programs currently accredited by the AOA. The AOA and AACOM would then become organizational members of ACGME.
By the Numbers
Currently, ACGME accredits over 9,000 programs in graduate medical education with about 116,000 resident physicians, including over 8,900 osteopathic physicians. The AOA accredits more than 1,000 osteopathic graduate medical education programs with about 6,900 resident physicians, all DOs.
The transition to a unified system would be seamless so that residents in or entering current AOA accredited residency programs will be eligible to complete residency and/or fellowhsip training in ACGME accredited residency and fellowship programs.
Among the topics of discussion for the three organizations will be:
Modification of ACGME accreditation standards to accept AOA specialty board certification as meeting ACGME eligibility requirements for program directors and faculty;
Programs in graduate medical education currently accredited solely by AOA will be recognized by ACGME as accredited by ACGME; and
Participation by AOA and AACOM in accreditation of programs in graduate medical education accreditation to be solely through their membership and participation in ACGME.
"Americans deserve a health care system where continuously improving the quality of care and the health of our patients is the driving force," stresses AOA President Ray E. Stowers, DO. "A unified accreditation system creates an opportunity to set universal standards for demonstrating competency with a focus on positive outcomes and the ability to share information on best practices."