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Office of the Ombudsperson

The ACGME’s Office of the Ombudsperson functions as an independent, impartial party, and offers a safe space to raise concerns about training-related issues. Discussions with staff members are confidential, unless the concerned party grants permission to discuss issues with other involved parties. Staff members will listen, educate, and, whenever possible, help to locate resources to assist in the resolution of training-related concerns.

The Office of the Ombudsperson offers an opportunity to report issues about residency programs and institutions without impacting their accreditation or Recognition status. Allegations presented to this office may or may not rise to the level of chronic and routine non-compliance with ACGME requirements, but they should be within the scope of the ACGME’s oversight.

If concerned parties have attempted to utilize available resources without finding a resolution, they may contact the ACGME’s Office of the Ombudsperson. A staff member will work with the institution to request an internal inquiry to further explore the issues raised. The institution will be asked to collaboratively create an action plan to address training-related concerns that may be validated through this exploration. The institution will then submit a report detailing the review and the proposed solutions or action plans that may result.

If issues cannot be resolved through the Office of the Ombudsperson, reporting parties may raise allegations of chronic and/or routine non-compliance with the ACGME’s accreditation or Recognition requirements through the formal complaint process.

Please see the FAQs about reporting an issue here.

Services Provided

  • Provides a safe space to confidentially raise concerns to an independent, impartial party.
  • Before taking any action, listens, educates about options, available resources, and mechanisms to assist in the resolution of training-related concerns (including the use of the ACGME’s formal complaint process).
  • Requests internal inquiries to further explore and resolve issues raised when appropriate.
  • Opens the lines of communication between residents/fellows and involved parties.
  • Advocates for fair process.

Services Not Provided

  • Does not render accreditation decisions or provide information to ACGME Review Committees.
  • Does not conduct formal investigations.
  • Does not make judgments in disputes between individuals and residency/fellowship programs/Sponsoring Institutions.
  • Does not participate in any formal grievance process or offer opinions about administrative decisions.
  • Does not create, change, or set aside policies or decisions.
  • Does not provide professional counselling.
  • Does not provide legal advice or get involved in legal issues.

How to Contact the Offices of the Ombudsperson

Before contacting the Office of the Ombudsperson, the parties should attempt to resolve issues by utilizing all of the resources available in the Sponsoring Institution and program, unless there is a valid reason for not doing so.

Parties wishing to report training-related issues are invited to call the Office of the Ombudsperson if they have questions or wish to first discuss the issues or process. Requests for the Office to initiate an internal inquiry, however, should be e-mailed.

The Office of the Ombudsperson must have a way to communicate with concerned parties. Anonymous e-mails are accepted, but the ability to respond and create dialogue is essential.

Be sure to include the following:

  • a brief summary of the issues, including steps taken to attempt a resolution - if relevant
  • the name, city, and state of the residency or fellowship program
  • contact information for the reporting party

To submit an issue, e-mail ombuds@acgme.org.

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