Dear Members of the Graduate Medical Education Community,
Last month, the ACGME Board approved focused revisions to Section II of the Common Program Requirements related to dedicated time for program directors, assistant/associate program directors, program coordinators, and core faculty members.
In June 2020, the Board approved formation of a special task force to examine the principles that should guide creation of requirements that quantify the effort required to participate in the educational program of residents and fellows. The task force, comprised of representatives of the ACGME Board and ACGME leadership, reviewed more than 100 position papers submitted by representatives from across the medical community, data collected from the ACGME Accreditation Data System, a comprehensive literature search, and feedback from internal and external stakeholder congresses.
These requirements were posted for a 45-day public comment period in February 2021 and are now approved with an effective date of July 1, 2022.
Changes to the Specialty Requirements
To balance the unique needs of each specialty/subspecialty with the responsibility to maintain fair and equitable standards across specialties/subspecialties, the ACGME Board in February directed the Committee on Requirements to develop a toolkit and templates providing guidance to Review Committees around the development of specialty-specific program requirements related to dedicated time for program leadership, program coordinators, and core faculty members.
Dedicated time requirements for specialties will be based on guidelines consistent with the modifications to the Common Program Requirements, and will take into account the minimum required for the smallest programs in each specialty, with the ability to scale up dedicated time based on program size and program complexity.
Review Committees will review their existing specialty-specific program requirements related to program director and coordinator support, and, if applicable, associate/assistant program director and core faculty member support, and determine whether the existing requirements fall within the range of options provided in the guidelines.
If the Review Committee determines that requirement changes are needed related to dedicated time for program leadership and/or program coordinator, a focused revision will be required. Similarly, if a Review Committee proposes new requirements related to dedicated time for core faculty, this will also require a focused revision.
The ACGME anticipates that focused revisions will take place over the next few years as Review Committees closely examine their specialties using the toolkit and templates. Proposed revisions will be posted for another 45-day public comment period.
In addition to the request for specific feedback related to dedicated time requirements, the ACGME asked the GME community for novel ideas to address the challenges and demands faced in delivering an exceptional educational experience for residents and fellows.
Based on this feedback, ACGME will be looking at the program requirements and frequency of revisions to identify areas that can reduce the time required for administration of programs and sponsoring institutions going forward
On behalf of the ACGME, we thank the entire GME community for its commitment, feedback, and patience as we continue to work together to update the ACGME Requirements in a way that supports your work in serving the American public and preparing our nation’s future physicians.
More information will be shared through future e-Communications, on the ACGME website, and through social media, including opportunities to comment on any proposed revisions to the requirements.
Lynne Kirk, MD, MACP
ACGME Chief Accreditation Officer