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August 2015 Single GME Accreditation System Update

August 31, 2015

AOA House of Delegates Recap

On Friday, July 17 during the AOA’s 2015 Annual Business Meeting, Thomas Nasca, MD, CEO of ACGME, provided an update on the transition to the single GME accreditation system (SAS). Following Dr. Nasca, AOA President-elect Boyd Buser, DO, delivered an update on the state of OGME and provided additional details on the transition. Both presentations are now available on AOA’s website.  

Key highlights from these presentations:
  • Results of a recent AOA survey shows that 83 percent of program directors are considering osteopathic recognition for their programs 
  • Boyd Buser, DO, provided more clarity about osteopathic certification stating that “ACGME has instructed RCs to develop language consistent with expectation that DOs will take AOA certifying board examinations.”

Resolutions Related to SAS Approved at AOA’s Annual Business Meeting 
Several proposed resolutions related to the transition were discussed and acted upon during the AOA’s Board of Trustees Mid-year meeting and at the House of Delegates. For more, visit AOA’s Annual Business Meeting page. Below are key resolutions related to SAS approved during the AOA Business meeting:

  • Program Accreditation during Transition to Single Accreditation System 
    Section X: AOA Accreditation during Transition to Single Accreditation System is now incorporated in the AOA Basic Documents for Postdoctoral Training. These polices outline actions for AOA programs and institutions to prepare for the transition. A key element of these policies seek to provide safeguards for trainees in programs that do not apply in a timely fashion and/or do not receive accreditation by 2020.
  • AOA Approval of Non-accredited Fellowship Training in Existing ACGME Fellowship Program
    This policy provides DO fellows AOA-approval for training in non-accredited positions in ACGME fellowship programs in order for residents in these positions to become eligible for AOA board certification examination. 
  • AOA Approval of OGME-1 Training
    This resolution sought to address the issue of licensure in some states that require an osteopathic internship year. It was approved with an amendment stating that DOs who successfully complete “an osteopathic-focused track in an ACGME accredited PGY-1 program that has received osteopathic-recognition will be deemed to have completed an AOA approved PGY-1 for the purposes of satisfying state licensure requirements.”

Review Committee News

Thoracic Surgery and Otolaryngology Review Committees will consider AOA-certification for Program Directors
The Thoracic Surgery and Otolaryngology Review Committees (RCs) met recently and determined that they will accept AOA-certification for program directors. Therefore, an AOA-certified program director could serve without a co-program director certified by an ABMS member board. Please refer to the following table on ACGME’s single GME web page for a full list of RC decisions on program director certification requirements and more information.

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. 

Update on Application Process for Traditional Rotating Internships/Transitional Year Programs
An ACGME transitional year program must exist in an environment that includes at least two other relevant ACGME-accredited graduate medical education programs or sponsors. Traditional Rotating Internships (TRI) applying for ACGME accreditation as Transitional Year (TY) programs can now begin to apply as soon as one sponsoring program applies and achieve pre-accreditation status—instead of two.

The TY Review Committee has submitted proposed focused revisions which amend this requirement to allow one ACGME-accredited program to be in place. Following a public comment period, which ended on August 5, 2015, the focused revisions will be forwarded to the ACGME Board for approval in September 2015. Those interested are encouraged to submit comments, please visit ACGME’s Review and Comment page
This information is now included in ACGME’s newly revised FAQs on their single GME accreditation web page and as a slide on the TY SAS webinar page.

Osteopathic Accreditation 

The Osteopathic Principles Committee has posted application instructions to help guide programs through the osteopathic recognition application. Programs can apply for osteopathic recognition as of July 1, 2015. The Committee is also soliciting nominees for a non-physician public member to join the Committee.

The Osteopathic Neuromusculoskeletal Medicine Review Committee (ONMM RC) is seeking nominees for a non-physician public member. The ONMM RC issued a solicitation which outlines the desired qualifications and submission instructions.  

New ACGME Initiative “Sponsoring Institution 2025”

On August 19, 2015, the ACGME announced an 18-month project to develop a “future vision for accredited institutional sponsors of graduate medical education (GME) programs.” A Call for Nominations was issued for those interested in participating in a Task Force to lead this new initiative. Nominations are due by September 14, 2015. The Task Force will be composed of participants from GME, Clinical Learning Environments, public members and ex-officio members from the federal government. Leadership from Osteopathic Postdoctoral Training Institutions (OPTIs) are included in the GME group.  

Tracking the Transition

As of August 17, 2015, a total of 39 institutions (8 OPTIs) have submitted applications for ACGME accreditation. At the Institutional Review Committee (IRC) meeting held in April 2015, 8 institutions were reviewed, 6 received initial accreditation and 2 received continued pre-accreditation status. There are currently 33 institutions in pre-accreditation status. The next meeting of the IRC is on August 21, 2015. 
A total of 22 programs have applied for initial accreditation and are in pre-accreditation status. The programs that have submitted applications are in the following specialties: emergency medicine (4), surgery (6), family medicine (3), internal medicine (3), diagnostic radiology (3), ophthalmology (1), otolaryngology (1) and urology (1). A total of 17 programs have applied for osteopathic recognition—9 are dually-accredited programs, 6 are ACGME-accredited programs, 2 program are in pre-accreditation status.

Events and 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:

Upcoming Webinar on ACGME Milestones Project & the Osteopathic Principles Milestones 
Laura Edgar, EdD, Executive Director of Milestones Development at ACGME and Natasha Bray, DO, Chair of the Osteopathic Principles Milestones Committee will hold a webinar to provide information on the ACGME Milestones Project. The webinar, which will be held on August 20, 2015, 10:00-11:00 AM CT, will include a discussion about the osteopathic principles milestones that will be used by programs pursuing osteopathic recognition. Click here to register.

2016 ACGME Annual Education Conference: Pre-Conference for Osteopathic Programs and Institutions
The ACGME’s Annual Education Conference will be held February 25-28, 2016 at the Gaylord National, National Harbor, Maryland. A pre-conference for osteopathic programs and institutions will be held February 25, 2016.  

Upcoming ACGME Review Committee Meeting Dates
The ACGME RC meetings for 2015 and 2016 are updated and available on ACGME’s website, please visit ACGME’s web page dedicated to RC meetings for regular updates. Visit the individual RC pages for information about agenda closing dates and for the remaining 2015 meeting dates and 2016 meeting dates.