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September 2016 Single GME Accreditation System Update

September 23, 2016
Published by the American Association of Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine September 2016

SAS in Brief

Events  |  Key Updates  |  Applications  |  For Students  |  Resources

Top 9 Things DO Students Need to Know about the Transition to a Single GME Accreditation System


he five-year phase-in period for the single graduate medical education (GME) accreditation system (SAS) is now entering its second year. The system is expected to: ensure a consistent method of evaluating residents, expand training for both DO and MD trainees, build a stronger voice for GME, and perpetuate the distinctive elements of osteopathic medical education (OME).

As the 2017 residency match cycle begins, the American Association of Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine (AACOM) hosted a student webinar, “Navigating the Single GME Accreditation System”, on June 29, 2016, to equip students with timely information on the transition.

See the Top 9 Things DO students Need to Know.


Events and Deadlines

Joint AACOM & AODME 2017 Conference

The Joint AACOM & AODME 2017 Conference will be held April 26 - 29, 2017, in Baltimore, MD at the Marriott Waterfront Hotel. A special Call for Abstracts was issued for topics related to the single GME accreditation system. There is expected to be programming on various aspects of the transition to the single accreditation system. For more visit AACOM’s Annual Conference web page.  

Osteopathic Medical Educators & Leaders Conference  

The 2017 Osteopathic Medical Educators and Leaders (OMEL) Conference will be held January 19 – 21, 2017, at the Marriott Waterfront, Tampa, FL. Details coming soon

2017 ACGME Annual Educational Conference

The 2017 ACGME Annual Educational Conference will be held at the Rosen Shingle Creek Resort in Orlando, FL, March 9-12, 2017. The ACGME will be conducting its annual osteopathic pre-conference in collaboration with the Association of Osteopathic Directors and Medical Educators (AODME). Sessions will include topics on achieving Initial Accreditation, Osteopathic Recognition, scholarly activity, and a year in the life of a program director. The ACGME Review Committee (RC) Executive Directors will also be available to answer questions regarding the transition to ACGME accreditation. For more, visit the ACGME Annual Educational Conference web page


Key Updates

ACGME Neurological Surgery RC to Accept AOA-Certified Program Directors 

In 2015, the vast majority of ACGME RCs voted to accept AOA board certification as acceptable specialty qualifications for program directors. In August 2016, the ACGME Neurological Surgery RC decided to accept AOA board certification for program directors. This now means that all of the relevant ACGME RCs will accept AOA board certification for program directors. Thus, an AOA-certified program director could serve without a co-program director certified by an American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS) member board. Other qualifications for program directors may still apply. View the ACGME chart for a list of RC decisions on program director certification requirements.

Several ACGME RCs Incorporate AOA Board Pass Rates in Requirements 

The following 17 ACGME RCs have now proposed focused revisions to incorporate AOA board pass rates within their program requirements. All relevant ACGME review committees are expected to submit focused revisions that incorporate AOA board pass rates within their program requirements. View the impact statements and program requirements posted on the ACGME’s Review & Comment web page and below:

First Military & Dermatology Programs Receive Osteopathic Recognition

From September 8 to 9, 2016, the ACGME Osteopathic Principles Committee (OPC) met and reviewed several applications for Osteopathic Recognition. The OPC approved an additional 12 programs with the Osteopathic Recognition designation. To date, 48 programs have achieved osteopathic recognition, 66 in total have applied for initial recognition. Of note, the first military and dermatology programs were approved for initial recognition, indicating an increasing mix of specialties and program diversity among those with osteopathic recognition.

View report of programs that have applied for osteopathic recognition
(does not include those that were reviewed but did not receive initial recognition).


Applications Update

Programs and institutions continue to apply for ACGME accreditation since July 1, 2015, and April 1, 2015, respectively. The table below provides a brief snapshot of the current status of ACGME applications as of September 20, 2016.

Table 1. Status of SAS Applications as of September 20, 2016
  Institutional Sponsors Program Osteopathic Recognition
Total Applications 84 247 66
Total Initial Accreditation/Recognition 56 59 48
Total Initial Accreditation Contingent
- 4 -

Osteopathic Recognition

Of the 48 programs with Initial Osteopathic Recognition:

  • 3 are AOA-accredited
  • 11 are ACGME-accredited only
  • 34 are Dually-accredited

Of the 12 still in the application stage for Osteopathic Recognition:

  • 5 are AOA-accredited
  • 1 is ACGME-accredited
  • 6 are Dually-accredited

View the full list of programs, institutions, and osteopathic recognition applications in the ACGME Accreditation Data System (ADS) reports below:


Especially For Students

SAS Student Central

AACOM’s SAS Student Central page features resources especially for students on the transition to the single accreditation system. New updates are posted regularly on this page and are shared via social media, follow @AACOMmunities and the hashtag #singlegme to keep up with the latest. Recent updates include:



Osteopathic Recognition Milestones Webinar

AACOM, in partnership with the Association of Osteopathic Directors and Medical Educators (AODME), hosted a webinar on the ACGME Osteopathic Recognition Milestone Project on August 17, 2016. The webinar featured Natasha Bray, DO, ACGME, Chair, Osteopathic Principles Milestones Committee, Associate Dean of Clinical Medicine at Arkansas College of Osteopathic Medicine (ARCOM), and Laura Edgar, EdD, ACGME, Executive Director, Milestones Development. This webinar covered general information about the ACGME milestones and the evaluation process, osteopathic recognition, assessment mapping, and the clinical competency committee. View the webinar recording and slides.

AODME Webinars

Navigating the Osteopathic Recognition Application
August 17, 2016
This webinar, led by Sarah James, DO, Associate Osteopathic Program Director, University of Wisconsin Department of Family Medicine and Community Health, Madison, Wisconsin, provides a guide through the Osteopathic Recognition application, focusing on some of the more challenging components. View the webinar.

Osteopathic Research: A How To Guide, Part 1 of 2
September 7, 2016
Gain perspective on the need for evidence in the osteopathic medical field, and receive tools to help make this happen. In part one of this webinar series, Kimberly Wolf, DO, Co-Program Director of Dual Pediatrics Residency Program and Assistant Professor of Pediatrics, Nationwide Children’s Hospital/Ohio State University, Columbus, OH, provides an introduction to osteopathic research, covers the current state of osteopathic research, and reviews the need for a stronger osteopathic physician presence in creating the evidence that shapes our policies and patient care. View the webinar

Osteopathic Research: A How To Guide, Part 2 of 2
September 14, 2016
In part two of this two-part series on osteopathic research, Dr. Wolf delves deeper into how to successfully complete an osteopathic research project, funding for research, helpful resources, and more. View the webinar.