This post is part of an ongoing “ACGME Answers” series, expanding on frequently asked questions the ACGME often receives or sees online. To learn more about the ACGME and graduate medical education (GME), review the ACGME FAQs on our website.
The ACGME Common Program Requirements and Institutional Requirements set basic standards applicable to all programs and institutions and facilitate a clinical learning environment for optimal development of skills, knowledge, professionalism, and patient safety. While these requirements are extensive, they are supplemented by specialty- and subspecialty-specific Program Requirements which are set by the applicable Review Committee(s). These Program Requirements can be found on the relevant specialty’s section of the ACGME website and are reviewed at least every 10 years; however, interim revisions are often considered.
Prior to drafting major revisions to existing Program Requirements, all ACGME Review Committees must solicit input from the community of interest and the public. This is done through the ACGME website and other communication channels. All proposed revised Requirements documents and their accompanying Impact and Rationale Statements will be posted for a 45-day period of public comment. The Impact and Rationale Statement, as its name implies, lays out the background rationale of the proposed changes and the potential impact on programs, institutions, resident education, and patient care, as identified by the Review Committee.
Program Requirements for which revisions are available for review and comment can be found on the Review and Comment page of the ACGME website. The applicable currently-in-effect Program Requirements will be marked up to show tracked proposed changes, with underlined text used for any proposed additions and strikethrough text for any proposed deletions. Comments are not invited for text in bold font, which indicates Common Program Requirements language.
Comments will subsequently be evaluated by the applicable Review Committee, which meets to review and evaluate the comments, and then to determine which suggestions will be incorporated into the proposed revised Requirements. The proposed revised Requirements documents will finally be reviewed by the ACGME Board of Directors for approval or other action. The typical effective date for revisions to Program Requirements when approved by the Board is July 1 (i.e., the start of the next academic year). Note: the process for approval of proposed new specialties/subspecialties differs from the process for revision of existing Program Requirements and may be explained in more detail in a future ACGME Answers post.
We hope this has been helpful. The ACGME encourages feedback and values every submission as part of the Requirements revision process. For clarification or questions about specific proposed revisions, contact the specialty Review Committee’s Executive Director, whose contact information is listed on the relevant specialty’s section of the ACGME website.
Find answers to other questions on our general Frequently Asked Questions page and look for other posts in this series coming soon. If you have questions or potential topics you’d like to see explained in more detail in a future post, email firstname.lastname@example.org.