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ACGME Programs and Sponsoring Institutions

What ACGME-Accredited Programs Need to Know About the Single GME Accreditation System

1. Identify AOA-approved programs that have applied for ACGME-accreditation

Between July 1, 2015 and June 30, 2020, all AOA-approved programs must apply for ACGME accreditation. Programs that were AOA-approved on July 1, 2015 that apply for ACGME accreditation under the terms of the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) among the ACGME, AOA, and AACOM will receive certain exceptions to specific requirements. The public page of the ACGME’s Accreditation Data System (ADS) offers the ability to search for programs and institutions. This report shows all programs that have applied for and achieved ACGME accreditation.

Learn more about how to search for programs.

Learn more about each stage of the accreditation process: 
Application 
Pre-Accreditation
Initial Accreditation

2. Pre-Accreditation

Pre-accreditation is a status that signifies that an AOA-approved program or institution has submitted an application for ACGME accreditation. This status was established as part of the agreement among the ACGME, the AOA, and AACOM. It is conferred automatically upon submission of an application for accreditation via ADS.

Pre-accreditation is not synonymous with Initial Accreditation. In order to achieve Initial Accreditation (and, ultimately, Continued Accreditation), a program or Sponsoring Institution must be determined by the applicable ACGME Review Committee to be in substantial compliance with the applicable Program Requirements and/or the Institutional Requirements. Individuals who complete a residency program after that program has achieved pre-accreditation status will be subject to the ACGME eligibility requirements for the relevant subspecialty that were in effect as of June 30, 2013 or July 1, 2016, whichever is less restrictive. 

Continued pre-accreditation is a status given to a program that does not achieve Initial Accreditation upon first review by the Review Committee. Programs with continued pre-accreditation are subject to the same provisions under the MOU as programs with pre-accreditation status.

Learn more about pre-accreditation and continued pre-accreditation for Sponsoring Institutions and programs.

3. Osteopathic Medicine Defined

Osteopathic medicine focuses on the whole person, the relationship of the body’s nerves, muscles, bones and organs, and the body’s innate ability to heal itself. It was developed more than 100 years ago by Andrew Taylor Still, MD, DO. Osteopathic physicians (Doctors of Osteopathic Medicine (DOs)) apply the tenets of osteopathic medicine. These physicians have an unlimited license to prescribe medicine and practice in all medical and surgical specialties and subspecialties.

Chair of the ACGME Osteopathic Principles Committee Robert Cain, DO discusses osteopathic medicine in a presentation entitled “Osteopathic Way.” To access the presentation, register for a free account in the ACGME’s Bridge learning management system. Visit the Bridge Self-Registration Portal to create a user account. After creating an account, go to the Learning Library to access the presentation. If you already have a user account with Bridge, you can log into the system here. E-mail questions about Bridge to de@acgme.org.

4. Osteopathic Recognition

Osteopathic Recognition was created by the ACGME as part of the transition to a single GME accreditation system, so that programs’ osteopathic identity can be maintained under ACGME accreditation. Any ACGME-accredited or pre-accredited program may apply for Osteopathic Recognition, which is overseen by the Osteopathic Principles Committee. 

Learn more about Osteopathic Recognition.

Identify programs that have applied and received Osteopathic Recognition in this report.

Direct questions about Osteopathic Recognition to Executive Director for Osteopathic Accreditation Tiffany Moss: 312.755.5490 or tmoss@acgme.org.

5. Fellowship Eligibility for Graduates of Programs in Pre-Accreditation

Between July 1, 2015 and June 30, 2020, a resident who completes prerequisite training in an AOA-approved program with pre-accreditation status will be subject to the ACGME fellowship eligibility standards (by subspecialty) that were in effect June 30, 2013 or July 1, 2016, whichever are less restrictive.

A number of Review Committees (see here for a list) allow programs to grant an exception to the eligibility requirements for prior training.

If an individual who graduated from a program with pre-accreditation status is appointed to a fellowship program based on the “exceptionally qualified applicant provision” detailed in the ACGME Common Program Requirements, and has successfully completed Levels 1, 2, and 3 of COMLEX USA, then he or she will not be required to take USMLE. 

NOTE: Some subspecialties did not in 2013, and will not in 2016, accept as prerequisite training anything other than completion of an ACGME-accredited program.

The eligibility requirements for every specialty and subspecialty vary among three spans of time between June 30, 2013 and July 1, 2016.

6. Fellowship Eligibility for Graduates of ACGME-Accredited Programs

Residents who graduate from an AOA-approved program that achieves Initial Accreditation prior to their graduation are eligible for ACGME-accredited fellowship programs, even if not all of the prerequisite clinical education required for entry into the fellowship was completed under ACGME accreditation.

Eligibility for and completion of ACGME-accredited programs does not guarantee eligibility for board certification. Board certification eligibility is determined by the individual certifying boards. Questions regarding eligibility for American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS) member board certification should be directed to the appropriate ABMS member board; questions about AOA certification should be directed to the appropriate AOA specialty certifying board.

7. Clinical Year Requirements

The ACGME Common Program Requirements (effective July 1, 2016) state that all prerequisite post-graduate clinical education must be completed in a program accredited by the ACGME, the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada, or the College of Family Physicians of Canada. The Review Committees for some specialties that require a broad-based clinical year have provided clarification, through FAQs or other forms of Review Committee communication, to explain how the completion of a clinical year in an AOA-approved program would affect eligibility for the specialty. A compilation of those clarifications can be found here.

8. Board Certification Requirements – Pass and Take Rate

The ACGME’s Board of Directors recognizes that osteopathic graduates may take osteopathic certifying board examinations, and has instructed all Review Committees to propose language regarding board certification requirements to include AOA certifying board pass rates to accommodate this expectation. The ACGME currently monitors pass rates on ABMS board examinations and will do the same for AOA board pass rates.

Programs in which some or all graduates take the applicable AOA certifying exam may not achieve the required minimum “take rate" for the applicable ABMS board examination as specified in the specialty-specific Program Requirements. When this occurs the program will not receive a citation and the program’s accreditation status will not be adversely impacted on the basis of non-compliance with the requirement. The ACGME believes that the goal of ACGME-accredited residency education is to produce physicians who seek and achieve board certification, recognizing that some graduates will be eligible for both exams and will have the freedom to choose which exam to take. This expectation will be addressed in the Common Program Requirements at the time of the next major revision.

9. Osteopathic Neuromusculoskeletal Medicine

The ACGME began accrediting programs in osteopathic neuromusculoskeletal medicine (ONMM) on July 1, 2015. There are two formats that an ACGME-accredited osteopathic neuromusculoskeletal medicine program may offer, which will be very similar to the AOA-approved NMM/OMM program and the NMM/OMM Plus One program.

Learn more about the ACGME accreditation of osteopathic neuromusculoskeletal medicine programs.

The Review Committee for Osteopathic Neuromusculoskeletal Medicine was created to oversee ACGME accreditation of programs in this specialty. The members of that Review Committee, including the resident member, are listed here. 

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