AOA Residents and Medical Students

Note: On July 1, 2020, the transition to a single GME accreditation system concluded. Some of the information on this page may no longer be relevant as a result. Direct questions regarding accreditation/application status to

What AOA Residents and Students Need to Know About the Single GME Accreditation System

1. Identify AOA-approved programs that have applied for ACGME accreditation

Between July 1, 2015 and June 30, 2020, all AOA-approved programs must apply for ACGME accreditation. Programs that were AOA-approved on July 1, 2015 will receive exceptions to specific requirements, as will the residents in those programs, if they apply under the terms of the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) among the ACGME, AOA, and AACOM. The Public page of the ACGME’s Accreditation Data System (ADS) offers the ability to search for programs and institutions. This report shows all programs that have applied for and achieved ACGME accreditation.

Learn more about how to search for programs.

Learn more about each stage of the accreditation process:

2. Pre-Accreditation

Pre-accreditation is a status that signifies that an AOA-approved program or institution has submitted an application for ACGME accreditation. This status was established as part of the agreement among the ACGME, the AOA, and AACOM. It is conferred automatically upon submission of an application for accreditation via ADS.

Pre-accreditation is not synonymous with Initial Accreditation. In order to achieve Initial Accreditation (and, ultimately, Continued Accreditation), a program or Sponsoring Institution must be determined by the applicable ACGME Review Committee to be in substantial compliance with the applicable Program Requirements and/or the Institutional Requirements. 

Continued pre-accreditation is a status given to a program that does not achieve Initial Accreditation upon first review by the Review Committee. Programs with continued pre-accreditation are subject to the same provisions under the MOU as programs with pre-accreditation status.

Learn more about pre-accreditation and continued pre-accreditation.

3. Locate Program Requirements and Other Specialty-Specific Information

Each specialty and subspecialty accredited by the ACGME has its own set of accreditation Program Requirements and an associated FAQ document. These documents are posted on the specialty page of the ACGME website (subspecialty documents are listed with their associated core specialties), which can be accessed here. In most cases, each core specialty has its own Review Committee. The Review Committee typically oversees a core specialty and all associated subspecialties of that core specialty. Any resources or information documents produced by the Review Committee to support or inform programs are posted in the specialty section of the website.

This document will help you to navigate the specialty web pages to locate any resources created by the Review Committee.

4. Osteopathic Recognition

Osteopathic Recognition was created by the ACGME as a part of the transition to a single GME accreditation system, so that programs’ osteopathic identity can be maintained under ACGME accreditation. Any ACGME-accredited or pre-accredited program may apply for Osteopathic Recognition, which is overseen by the Osteopathic Principles Committee.

Learn more about Osteopathic Recognition.

Identify programs that have applied and received Osteopathic Recognition in this report.

Direct questions about Osteopathic Recognition to Executive Director for Osteopathic Accreditation Tiffany Moss: 312.755.5490 or

5. Protection of AOA Residents During the Transition to a Single GME Accreditation System

The ACGME, AOA, and AACOM have entered into an agreement that provides protection for residents in AOA-approved training programs, which do not achieve ACGME accreditation prior to June 30, 2020, when the AOA will no longer accredit graduate medical education programs. Learn more about the agreement here.

6. Fellowship Eligibility

The required clinical education for entry into an ACGME-accredited fellowship program may be completed in an ACGME-accredited residency program, AOA-approved residency program, program with ACGME International (ACGME-I) Advanced Specialty Accreditation, or Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada (RCPSC)-accredited or College of Family Physicians of Canada (CFPC)-accredited residency program located in Canada.

7. Clinical Year Requirements

The required prerequisite post-graduate clinical education required for initial entry or transfer into ACGME-accredited residency programs may be completed in a ACGME-accredited residency program, AOA-approved residency program, Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada (RCPSC)-accredited or College of Family Physicians of Canada (CFPC)-accredited residency program located in Canada, or in a residency program with ACGME International (ACGME-I) Advanced Specialty Accreditation.

8. Osteopathic Neuromusculoskeletal Medicine

The ACGME began accrediting programs in osteopathic neuromusculoskeletal medicine (ONMM) on July 1, 2015. There are two formats that an ACGME-accredited osteopathic neuromusculoskeletal medicine program may offer, which will be very similar to the AOA-approved NMM/OMM program and the NMM/OMM Plus One program.

Learn more about the ACGME accreditation of osteopathic neuromusculoskeletal medicine programs.

The Review Committee for Osteopathic Neuromusculoskeletal Medicine was created to oversee ACGME accreditation of programs in this specialty. The members of that Review Committee, including the resident member, are listed here.

9. Council of Review Committee Residents

The members of the ACGME Council of Review Committee Residents (CRCR) are the resident members of each Review Committee and Osteopathic Principles Committee. Both the Review Committee for Osteopathic Neuromusculoskeletal Medicine and the Osteopathic Principles Committee have resident members that actively participate in the CRCR.

Learn more about the CRCR.

10. Report an Issue

The ACGME has two different processes for reporting issues related to an ACGME-accredited residency/fellowship program or Sponsoring Institution. These processes are in place to help physicians in GME programs receive fair resolutions to residency/fellowship education-related issues or raise allegations of non-compliance with ACGME requirements.

Learn more about these options.

11. Licensing Board Exams

To be eligible for appointment to ACGME-accredited residency programs, candidates must have graduated from a medical school accredited by the LCME or the AOA, or hold a currently-valid certificate from the Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates (ECFMG), or hold a full and unrestricted license. The ACGME does not specify which licensing board exam(s) (i.e., COMLEX-USA, USMLE) applicants must take to be eligible for appointment in ACGME-accredited residency programs.