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July 1, 2015 Single GME Accreditation System Transition Update

July 01, 2015

July 1, 2015, marks the official launch of the single graduate medical education accreditation system (SAS) as the window opens for AOA-accredited programs to apply for ACGME accreditation. Below are highlights of recent updates on the transition.

Acceptance of AOA-certification for Program Directors

The vast majority of ACGME Review Committees (RCs)—for specialties in which an AOA-certification exists—over 80 percent, have voted to accept AOA-certification as acceptable specialty qualifications for program directors. These decisions apply to around 90 percent of current AOA-certified program directors.

Last week, the RCs for Surgery and Neurology decided to accept AOA-certification as acceptable specialty qualifications for program directors. Thus, in these specialties, an AOA-certified program director could serve without a co-program director certified by an ABMS member board.

The following ACGME RCs have made this decision:

  • Transitional Year
  • Allergy and Immunology
  • Anesthesiology
  • Ophthalmology
  • Pediatrics
  • Plastic Surgery
  • Psychiatry
  • Orthopaedic Surgery
  • Emergency Medicine
  • Obstetrics and Gynecology
  • Pathology
  • Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation
  • Preventive Medicine
  • Dermatology
  • Diagnostic Radiology
  • Family Medicine
  • Internal Medicine
  • Surgery
  • Neurology

The RC for Thoracic Surgery will meet to make its determination on July 17, 2015. The RCs for Urology, Neurological Surgery and Otolaryngology will require an ABMS certified co-program director. 

It is important to note that many RCs have other requirements for the program director position in addition to certification. Those additional requirements may be published in Program Requirements, FAQs from the RC (which can be found on the RC webpage) or both. As is currently the case, all program director appointments must be reviewed and approved by the RC.

New Proposed Focused Revision for Traditional Rotating Internship Programs to Smooth Transition

To ease the transition process for AOA-accredited traditional rotating internships (TRI) seeking ACGME accreditation as transitional year (TY) programs, the TY Review Committee has posted a new proposed focused revision that creates a pathway for AOA-accredited TRI programs to achieve initial accreditation with a single sponsoring program at the institution, instead of two.

The focused revisions were posted for a 45 day comment period to allow the community of interest to respond to these revisions. The community is encouraged to comment utilizing the “Review and Comment” form found on ACGME’s webpage and submit the completed form via e-mail to ty@acgme.org by August 5, 2015. See the impact statement  and the TY program requirements.

New Dermatology Review Committee FAQ

The Dermatology RC has posted the following FAQ related to resident appointments during the transition. This language allows for some leniency for ACGME-accredited dermatology programs considering DO candidates during the transition.

Are individuals who completed a broad based clinical year in an AOA-approved program eligible to apply to ACGME-accredited dermatology programs?

The Review Committee understands that during the transition period to a single accreditation system, programs may wish to consider applicants from AOA-approved programs that are not yet pre-accredited or accredited by the ACGME. Core programs will not jeopardize their accreditation status if they accept such applicants. Applicants should check with the appropriate board regarding certification eligibility. 

Institutions Apply for Institutional Sponsorship

The application process for ACGME institutional sponsorship began on April 1, 2015. Institutions that submit a completed institutional application will receive “pre-accreditation status” and its AOA-accredited programs can begin the application process for Initial Accreditation with the ACGME. Click here to run a report for an updated list of pre-accredited institutions.

Six institutions have already achieved ACGME initial accreditation, those that achieve initial accreditation will be identified and can be searched under the “Future Accredited” filter on ACGME’s ADS public site. Those interested can now search for institutions by accreditation status and by state. 

The six institutions that have achieved ACGME initial accreditation status are: 

  • Magnolia Regional Health Center (MS)
  • Botsford Hospital (MI)
  • Metro Health Hospital (MI)
  • McLaren Oakland (MI)
  • Lakeland Regional Health System(MI)
  • Northside Hospital (FL)

Informational Resources

Resource for Transition Updates: ACGME’s ADS Public Site

ACGME’s Accreditation Data System (ADS) public site now includes reports tailored specifically to track progress of institutions and programs in the transition. The reports include:

ACGME Specialty-Specific Webinars

ACGME launched a series of webinars for osteopathic programs and institutions transitioning into the single accreditation system in April. The webinars are specialty-specific and feature Senior Vice Presidents for Accreditation, ACGME Executive Directors and RC Chairs. The presentations and webinar recordings are available on the AOA’s website.

6/24 Student Webinar

On Wednesday, June 24, 2015, AACOM hosted a webinar featuring speakers from the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) and the American Osteopathic Association (AOA) designed to inform students about the transition to the single graduate medical education (GME) accreditation system. This webinar covered general information to help students navigate the new system and specific information on transitional year programs and traditional rotating internships during the transition. The webinar recording and materials are available here