ACGME Answers: Understanding the Role of the ACGME in Resident/Fellow Pay

October 26, 2023

This post is part of an ongoing “ACGME Answers” series, expanding on 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. 

Resident and fellow pay is an important topic, and the ACGME often receives or sees questions regarding who controls and determines compensation for these physicians. In this brief post, we will clarify the ACGME’s role.

As a not-for-profit organization responsible for accrediting GME—or residency and fellowship—programs in the United States, the ACGME does not control and has no involvement in resident/fellow salaries. It is ultimately a resident’s or fellow’s employer that determines pay, which may be financially supported by a variety of public or private sources. More information about these sources can be found on the ACGME FAQ page.

While the ACGME is not involved with setting salaries or payment amounts, the ACGME Institutional Requirements mandate that Sponsoring Institutions provide residents and fellows with a written agreement or contract outlining financial support and benefits, and that they ensure this compensation enables residents and fellows to fulfill their responsibilities in their ACGME-accredited programs. In addition, each Sponsoring Institution’s Graduate Medical Education Committee must approve annual recommendations to administration regarding resident/fellow salaries and benefits.

In summary, resident/fellow pay is the responsibility of the resident’s/fellow’s employer. The ACGME does not have a role in setting or any involvement in controlling salaries. Read more on this topic and other common questions on the ACGME FAQ page, or consult with the designated institutional official or administration of your Sponsoring Institution.