The Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME), the American Osteopathic Association (AOA), and the American Association of Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine (AACOM) join this week to celebrate completion of the successful transition to a single accreditation system for graduate medical education (GME) in the US.
Under the single accreditation system, the ACGME serves as the nation’s sole accreditor for both osteopathic (DO) and allopathic (MD) residencies and fellowships. Following a five-year transition culminating on June 30, 2020, the osteopathic profession is now fully integrated into the ACGME processes, procedures and governance, and new opportunities have been established for expansion of osteopathic principles and practices through the distinction of Osteopathic Recognition.
“Today marks the culmination of years of collaboration and innovation to create a single GME accreditation system that establishes the framework for training all physicians to provide uniform, quality care to patients across the United States,” said Thomas J. Nasca, MD, MACP, President and Chief Executive Officer of the ACGME. “I am proud to say that through the transition, we have created a system that preserves the strengths and traditions of both osteopathic and allopathic medicine, and I look forward to the next phase of preparing the physicians of the future.”
Since the transition began in 2015, filled postgraduate positions in previously AOA-accredited programs grew 22 percent from 8,647 to 10,462 in 2020. In addition, 98 percent of AOA-accredited training programs that applied for ACGME accreditation have received it, with additional programs expected to transition in coming months.
This spring, the first-ever combined match through the National Resident Matching Program (NRMP) resulted in a record number of osteopathic medical students who matched through the main residency match. Many additional candidates secured residencies via the NRMP’s Supplemental Offer and Acceptance Program (SOAP), resulting in placement for 99.2 percent of DO graduates seeking GME, according to AACOM data.
“The success of our DO graduates during the first combined match demonstrates the increasingly high demand for osteopathic candidates and shows us that program directors across all medical specialties are seeking the skills and expertise DOs bring to the table,” said AOA CEO Kevin M. Klauer, DO, EJD. “In addition, the data shows us that residency candidates and programs value the designation of Osteopathic Recognition, reaffirming our profession’s commitment to preserving the distinctiveness of the mind-body connection DOs bring to health care.”
Osteopathic Recognition is a designation conferred by the ACGME’s Osteopathic Principles Committee upon ACGME-accredited programs that demonstrate, through a formal application process, the commitment to teaching and assessing Osteopathic Principles and Practice (OPP) at the graduate medical education level. Currently, 233 programs in 27 specialties and subspecialties have received Osteopathic Recognition, 15 percent of which were not previously AOA-accredited programs.
“Today, we congratulate the GME community that worked tirelessly to transition to the ACGME system so successfully,” said AACOM President and CEO Robert A. Cain, DO. “We also congratulate the colleges of osteopathic medicine and students for the success of the residency placement results. These five years have demonstrated that the house of medicine can create innovative solutions to improve health care for the public. With Osteopathic Recognition we have a greater opportunity to spread the benefits of osteopathic medicine in GME and throughout the health care system.”
In addition to adding DOs to its board of directors and 26 of its Review and Recognition Committees, the ACGME has established the Osteopathic Principles Committee and a new senior leadership position focused on osteopathic accreditation. The ACGME also offers ACGME-accreditation in the specialty of osteopathic neuromusculoskeletal medicine.
The ACGME, AOA, and AACOM remain committed to continued collaboration toward the shared goal of improving health care through the advancement of graduate medical education across all medical specialties, with a focus on promoting patient safety, learner education and physician well-being.
The Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) is a private, non-profit, professional organization responsible for the accreditation of approximately 11,700 residency and fellowship programs and the approximately 850 institutions that sponsor these programs in the United States. Residency and fellowship programs educate approximately 140,500 resident and fellow physicians in 181 specialties and subspecialties. The ACGME's mission is to improve health care and population health by assessing and advancing the quality of resident physicians' education through accreditation. Learn more at ACGME.org.
The American Osteopathic Association (AOA) represents more than 151,000 osteopathic physicians (DOs) and osteopathic medical students; promotes public health; encourages scientific research; serves as the primary certifying body (specialty board certification) for DOs. To learn more about DOs and the osteopathic philosophy of medicine, visit DoctorsThatDO.org.
The American Association of Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine (AACOM) was founded in 1898 to lend support and assistance to the nation’s osteopathic medical schools, and to serve as a unifying voice for osteopathic medical education. The organization represents the administration, faculty and students of all osteopathic medical colleges in the United States and is actively involved in all areas of osteopathic medical education, including graduate medical education. Visit AACOM.org for more information or ChooseDO.org for information about applying to osteopathic medical school.