American Osteopathic Association

Advancing the distinctive philosophy and practice of osteopathic medicine

The Single GME Accreditation System

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On July 1, 2015, the AOA, American Association of Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine (AACOM) and the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) began the transition to a single accreditation system for graduate medical education in the U.S. When fully implemented in July 2020, the new system will allow graduates of osteopathic and allopathic medical schools to complete their residency and/or fellowship education in ACGME-accredited programs and demonstrate achievement of common milestones and competencies. Through osteopathic-focused residency programs, the new system will recognize the unique principles and practices of the osteopathic medical profession and its contributions to health care. 

Information For Members

The AOA remains dedicated to helping its members navigate the transition as it progresses. See more detailed updates on accreditation processes and the latest information for students & residents and educational stakeholders.

For more information, the ACGME has updated its online Single GME Accreditation System section to provide greater ease of access to news items, important updates, webinars and critical resources to osteopathic programs pursuing ACGME accreditation.

Recent News

  • Sept. 13: In an update on the single GME accreditation system, AOA President Boyd R. Buser, DO, addressed a paper written by Norman Gevitz, PhD, in which Dr. Gevitz provides his perspective on the progress of the transition. Dr. Buser notes that the paper does not reflect the facts, an accurate understanding of the single accreditation system structure or match process, or the current environment that led to the decision to pursue a single system for GME. Read Dr. Buser's complete letter​ or view AACOM's response to Dr. Gevitz's paper.

  • July 22: Boyd R. Buser, DO, and Thomas J. Nasca, MD, chief executive officer of ACGME, presented an update on the single GME accreditation system to the AOA House of Delegates. View or download Dr. Buser's and Dr. Nasca's presentation slides.

  • March 22: ​​The ACGME has published a collection of resources to help guide programs through the process of applying for ACGME accreditation. The video guide, “Completing an ACGME Program Application,” can be viewed on Vimeo

  • Jan. 11: The ACGME announced that many fellowships will now accept the COMLEX-USA examination on equal footing with the USMLE. This change is specifically related to the "exceptionally qualified candidate" provision included in the ACGME's new Common Program Requirements. If an individual applies to a fellowship program based on this provision and has successfully completed Levels 1, 2 and 3 of COMLEX-USA, he/she will not be required to take the USMLE. This only applies to residents who graduate from a residency program with pre-accreditation, and not all subspecialties accept the exceptionally qualified candidate pathway. The ACGME will be issuing guidelines to assist fellowship program directors in determining whether individual applicants are eligible for appointment. Eligibility criteria for every ACGME-accredited subspecialty can be reviewed on the ACGME’s website.

  • View the Board Certification Chart to learn more about AOA and ABMS training eligibility requirements for specialty certification during the five-year transition period to a single GME accreditation system. During the transition, the ABMS boards will offer certification to osteopathic physicians under specific circumstances (summarized in the chart). Individuals seeking ABMS certification should monitor relevant ABMS board websites for any changes in policy. Note that the rules for entering advanced ACGME training are established by the ACGME. Those rules may allow a trainee to enter advanced ACGME training, but do not guarantee the trainee would be eligible to sit for the ABMS board examination.

  • AOA President-elect Boyd Buser, DO, was featured in this AMA story on the single GME accreditation system.

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