The ACGME accredits Sponsoring Institutions and residency and fellowship programs, confers recognition on additional program formats or components, and dedicates resources to initiatives addressing areas of import in graduate medical education. The ACGME employs best practices, research, and advancements across the continuum of medical education to demonstrate its dedication to enhancing health care and graduate medical education. The ACGME is committed to improving the patient care delivered by resident and fellow physicians today, and in their future independent practice, and to doing so in clinical learning environments characterized by excellence in care, safety, and professionalism.
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 sponsor them, and renders accreditation decisions based on compliance with these standards. In academic year 2019-2020, there were approximately 865 ACGME-accredited institutions sponsoring approximately 12,000 residency and fellowship programs in 182 specialties and subspecialties. 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.
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.
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.