The ACGME for Residents and Fellows

The resources listed on this page provide information about the ACGME, its purpose, and the importance of its work to all physicians in training. We encourage you to learn more, ask questions, and get involved.

The mission of the ACGME is to improve health care and population health by assessing and advancing the quality of resident physicians' education through accreditation.

Through accreditation, innovations, and initiatives, the ACGME strives to ensure that residents and fellows train in educational environments that support patient safety, resident and fellow education, and physician well-being.

  • Accreditation
  • Recognition
  • Initiatives

The ACGME is a private, 501(c)(3), not-for-profit organization that sets standards for US graduate medical education (residency and fellowship) programs and the institutions that sponsors them, and renders accreditation decisions based on compliance with these standards. Accreditation is achieved through a voluntary process of evaluation and review based on published accreditation standards. ACGME accreditation provides assurance that a Sponsoring Institution or program meets the quality standards (Institutional and Program Requirements) of the specialty or subspecialty practice(s) for which it prepares its graduates. ACGME accreditation is overseen by a Review Committee made up of volunteer specialty experts from the field that set accreditation standards and provide peer evaluation of Sponsoring Institutions and specialty and subspecialty residency and fellowship programs.

    • Advancing Innovation in Residency Education (AIRE)
      The ACGME has initiated a new pilot program with the dual aims of 1) enabling the exploration of novel approaches and pathways in GME, and 2) enhancing the attainment of educational and clinical outcomes through innovative structure and processes in resident and fellowship education.
    • Case Logs and Surveys
      The ACGME Data Collection Systems comprise the Accreditation Data System (ADS), which includes the Case Log System, and the Resident/Fellow and Faculty Surveys.
    • Common Program Requirements
      The ACGME Common Program Requirements are in place to ensure that ACGME-accredited programs follow a basic set of standards (requirements) in training and preparing resident and fellow physicians.
    • Review and Comment
      The ACGME invites comments from the community of interest regarding the proposed requirements listed on this page as open for comment.
    • Self-Study
      The ACGME self-study is an objective, comprehensive evaluation of the residency or fellowship program, with the goal of improving it.
    • Single GME Accreditation System
      The transition to a single accreditation system allows graduates of allopathic and osteopathic US medical schools to complete their residency and/or fellowship education in ACGME-accredited programs and demonstrate achievement of common Milestones and competencies.
    • Site Visit
      The accreditation process for programs and Sponsoring Institutions includes periodic on-site visits to assess compliance with the Program and Institutional Requirements.

Recognition is additional acknowledgment, supplemental to accreditation, for identified elements or categories of a Sponsoring Institution or program. Recognition is conferred through a voluntary process of evaluation and review based on published recognition standards. ACGME recognition is overseen by a Recognition Committee made up of volunteer experts and a representative of the public. Depending on the type of recognition, programs must be accredited by the ACGME, or sponsored by an institution accredited by the ACGME.

  • Osteopathic Recognition
    Osteopathic Recognition is conferred upon any ACGME-accredited program providing requisite training in Osteopathic Principles and Practice (OPP).

In attending to its mission to improve health care and population health through accreditation, the ACGME dedicates research and resources to areas impacting graduate medical education such as the clinical learning environment and physician well-being.

    • The Clinical Learning Environment Review (CLER) Program
      The CLER Program is designed to provide US teaching hospitals, medical centers, health systems, and other clinical settings affiliated with ACGME-accredited Sponsoring Institutions with periodic feedback addressing six specific areas of focus.
    • Physician Well-Being
      The ACGME is committed to addressing physician well-being for individuals and as it relates to the clinical learning environment.
    • Sponsoring Institution 2025
      Sponsoring Institution 2025 (SI2025) is an 18-month project that will develop a future vision for accredited institutional sponsors of graduate medical education programs.
  • Pursuing Excellence in Clinical Learning Environments
    Pursuing Excellence is a four-year initiative designed to promote transformative improvement within the clinical learning environments of ACGME-accredited Sponsoring Institutions in which resident and fellow physicians pursue their formal clinical training in a specialty or subspecialty.
Back to Bedside


Back to Bedside is an ACGME resident-led initiative supporting transformative projects that enhance meaning in medicine by engaging on a deeper level with patients.

Learn More