The Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) is an independent, 501(c)(3), not-for-profit organization that sets and monitors voluntary professional educational standards essential in preparing physicians to deliver safe, high-quality medical care to all Americans. Graduate medical education (GME) refers to the period of education in a particular specialty (residency) or subspecialty (fellowship) following medical school; the ACGME oversees the accreditation of residency and fellowship programs in the US.

The Mission of the ACGME is to improve health care and population health by assessing and enhancing the quality of resident and fellow physicians' education through advancements in accreditation and education.

ACGME by the Numbers

Academic Year 2022-2023


Accredited residency and fellowship programs


Accredited specialties and subspecialties


Sponsoring Institutions housing accredited programs


Active full- and part-time residents and fellows in ACGME-accredited programs

1 in 7

Number of physicians who are residents or fellows in the US


Residency and fellowship programs provide the clinical experience and education for residents to:

  • Gradually and progressively achieve the autonomy and independence to deliver the highest quality patient care without supervision.
  • Make the right decisions and take life-saving actions after undergoing a rigorous and demanding training program.
  • Learn how to cope with the challenges of practicing medicine.

Learn more about Physician Education

Watch these featured ACGME videos about Innovation in Resident Education

What is ACGME Accreditation?

The ACGME sets standards for effective training programs, and monitors compliance with those standards (the Institutional and Program Requirements).

  • Specialty-specific committees (Review Committees) of volunteer physicians including a resident/fellow representative, as well as a non-physician public member create a uniform set of high standards for each accredited specialty and subspecialty applied across all accredited US residency and fellowship programs educating and training physicians in those fields to ensure the highest quality physicians and patient care.
  • Accredited residency and fellowship programs are continuously monitored for substantial compliance with the requirements set by the applicable Review Committee, including through data collection and evaluation, surveys, and site visits.
  • The Review Committees regularly review the accreditation requirements to ensure they are based on current and best practices in the field.
  • The ACGME sets standards designed to cultivate a team-based learning environment and culture in which residents and fellows serve as both learners and mentors in delivering high-quality patient-focused care.
  • Residents and fellows provide regular feedback to the ACGME about their programs, offering an inside view that helps the organization to improve the overall quality of accredited programs.
Requirements are set, and compliance with those requirements is assessed, by specialty-specific Review Committees made up of volunteer physician experts in the field, including residents/fellows, as well as public representatives. There are 28 of these specialty-specific Review Committees, including one for Transitional Year programs. The Institutional Review Committee reviews and accredits institutions that sponsor graduate medical education programs. Each Review Committee receives data on all accredited or applicant programs or institutions within its purview, and makes an accreditation status decision on each, annually.

Learn more about the Committees and Members Selection Process


The ACGME and the graduate medical education community have made significant advances over recent years to transition to an accreditation model that encourages excellence and innovation.

  • A single GME accreditation system is being implemented to allow graduates of allopathic (Doctors of Medicine or MDs) and osteopathic (Doctors of Osteopathic Medicine or DOs) medical schools to complete their residency and/or fellowship education in ACGME-accredited programs, and demonstrate achievement of common Milestones and competencies. This helps us address the increasingly varied and complex medical care needed in both rural and urban American settings (i.e., prevention, primary, surgical, chronic, and emergent care).

    Learn more about specifics related to transitioning to a Single GME Accreditation System
  • The current model of accreditation has shifted emphasis from “time served” and compliance with minimum standards to competency-based assessment facilitated by monitoring and evaluating real-time data that tracks residents’ and fellows’ education and achievements.

    Learn more about the Milestones
    • The ACGME Requirements have historically included standards to address physician well-being, but in recent years the organization has increased its focus on this issue, recognizing it is crucial to the ability of physicians to deliver the safest, best possible care to patients.

      Learn more about the ACGME’s Physician Well-Being initiative