ACGME Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education

Resident/Fellow Survey - FAQ

What is the Resident/Fellow Survey?
Each year from mid-January through early June, the ACGME requires residents and fellows to complete an online survey. This general survey, which will take residents about 10 minutes to complete, contains questions about their clinical and educational experience, as well as duty hours worked.

How will I know when my program should participate in the survey?
The ACGME will notify programs directly when their participation is required. This notification will include detailed information on accessing the survey and a deadline for completion. The ACGME will not contact residents and fellows directly. It is the program's responsibility to ensure their residents/fellows complete the survey.

All specialty and subspecialty programs (regardless of size) will be surveyed every year between January and June.

Please note that this survey is not directly linked to the site visit; residents/fellows in your program may be required to complete the survey regardless of whether your program has an upcoming site visit.

What if some of my residents and fellows can't be reached to participate?
Only your currently active full- and part-time residents and fellows are required to participate, and at least 70% participation is required. You may use e-mail to communicate with your residents/fellows and may wish to forward them the notification you receive from the ACGME. To help your program manage this administration, you can view (on-line through the Accreditation Data System (ADS)) a list of those who have not yet completed the survey.

The ACGME does not require the participation of off-cycle residents/fellows (those starting a program after August 31 of each year).

My specialty already requires a survey from the residents. Will my residents have to do this one, too?
Yes. However, in many cases the specialty specific surveys have been incorporated into the general survey administration. Currently the specialty specific surveys for: Allergy & Immunology, Anesthesiology, Combined Internal Medicine - Pediatrics, Emergency Medicine, Family Medicine, Internal Medicine, Internal Medicine subspecialties, Ophthalmology, Pathology, Preventive Medicine, Radiation Oncology, Neurology, Psychiatry, Thoracic Surgery and Transitional Year are all included within the Resident/Fellow survey.

How will residents/fellows complete the survey?
Participants will complete the survey through the ACGME's secured website: Residents and fellows will login using their program's 10 digit code and a password. This password is based on the participant's birthdate and the last two letters of their last name. Residents and fellows are required to change their user ids and passwords to ensure confidentiality.

How is completion of the survey determined?
A respondent is counted as having completed the survey only if he/she answers all questions (including any specialty-specific questions, if applicable) and successfully changes the username and password.

Where can I see the results from my program?
Assuming that at least 70% of your residents/fellows have completed the survey and that your program has at least 4 residents/fellows responding, summary reports for your program will be available annually through ADS. For programs with less than 4 residents/fellows who meet the 70% compliance rate, reports will only be available on an aggregated basis after at least 3 years of survey reporting has taken place.

Only summary data are displayed; no individual data are available. If less than 70% of your residents/fellows complete the survey, data from your program will not be available.

Who else will see the data from my program?
All data gathered in this survey are confidential and no names will be associated with any of the data in the database. Access to the data will be password protected and no responses will be linked to individual respondents. Aggregate, program-level data from the survey are provided to the program directors and designated institutional official annually for programs with 4 or more residents/fellows responding, if 70% compliance is reached. For programs with less than 4 residents/fellows who meet the 70% compliance rate, reports will only be available on an aggregated basis after at least 3 years of survey reporting has taken place.

My residents have completed the survey information and I’m looking at my summary report. Why are some of the data highlighted in grey?
Shaded boxes are used in the report to highlight any non-compliant (as compared to the ACGME's Common Program Requirements) resident responses.

How will these data be used in my program’s accreditation?
The data from the survey are intended as a diagnostic tool to focus the field staff’s questions during the on-site visit. The field staff member will use the aggregate data and to focus the questions during the site visit and to verify and clarify the information from them.

Field staff members will probe and clarify any grey shaded areas, and pay particular attention to the duty hour items and to items with a substantial number of non-compliant responses. If the interview with the residents suggests that past problem areas suggested in the survey data have been corrected, the field staff member will document this in his/her report. The field staff member will also indicate in the report any survey questions or phrases that were misunderstood by the residents/fellows.

All decisions about programs' compliance with standards rest entirely with the residency Review Committee upon reviewing all program information.

What if I have further questions?
Program and Institution staff can contact for further questions.

Residents or fellows with questions or concerns regarding the survey can contact