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AACOM Statement on AOA House of Delegates Vote to Support Single GME Accreditation System

July 21, 2014

July 21, 2014

Lisa Cole, MBA
Director of Communications and Marketing
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Delegates representing the nation’s more than 104,000 osteopathic physicians (DOs) and osteopathic medical students voted Saturday to support a decision by the American Osteopathic Association (AOA) Board of Trustees to pursue a new, single accreditation system for graduate medical education (GME).

This decision clears the way for DO and MD granting medical schools, hospitals, and community health centers to develop a single standard for residency program training. Graduating students from DO or MD schools can now become board-eligible, practicing physicians in the United States through a single accrediting system. 

“The outstanding work of the leaders of the osteopathic profession and osteopathic medical education, as well as the tireless commitment of student organizations around the country, all made it possible to develop this landmark proposal and move it forward to final passage,” said Dr. Stephen C. Shannon, President, American Association of Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine (AACOM). “As we now move into implementation of single GME accreditation, future generations of physicians will be empowered to use the principles and practice of osteopathic medicine to meet the challenges of a changing healthcare system.”

This historic vote during the annual meeting of the AOA House of Delegates comes after an announcement in February that AACOM, the AOA, and the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) reached an agreement to work together to prepare future generations of physicians.

When fully implemented in July 2020, the new system will allow graduates of U.S. DO and MD medical schools to complete their residency and/or fellowship education in ACGME-accredited programs and demonstrate achievement of common milestones and competencies.

AACOM strongly believes the public will benefit from a single standardized system to evaluate the effectiveness of GME programs for producing competent physicians. Through osteopathic-focused residency programs, the new GME accreditation system will recognize the unique principles and practices of the osteopathic medical profession and its contributions to health care in the United States.


The American Association of Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine (AACOM) represents the 30 accredited colleges of osteopathic medicine in the United States. These colleges are accredited to deliver instruction at 42 teaching locations in 28 states. In the 2013-14 academic year these colleges are educating over 23,000 future physicians – more than 20 percent of US medical students. Six of the colleges are public and 24 are private institutions.

AACOM was founded in 1898 to support and assist the nation's osteopathic medical schools, and to serve as a unifying voice for osteopathic medical education. AACOM’s mission is to promote excellence in osteopathic medical education, in research and in service, and to foster innovation and quality among osteopathic medical colleges to improve the health of the American public.