Notable Milestones During the Transition | Timeline | Application Status of AOA-accredited Programs & Institutions | Interactive Dashboard |Key Activities
In February 2014, the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME), the American Osteopathic Association (AOA), and the American Association of Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine (AACOM) signed an agreement to transition to a single accreditation system for graduate medical education (GME) by July 1, 2020. The transition launched in April 2015, with the application process starting for ACGME institutional sponsorship, and officially on July 1, 2015 for AOA-accredited GME programs to apply for initial accreditation.
Osteopathic GME (OGME) stakeholders have worked hard to ensure that AOA-accredited programs succeed in the new GME environment, and that work is paying off. According to the AOA, 68 percent of AOA-accredited programs have successfully submitted ACGME applications and/or have achieved ACGME accreditation as of January 2, 2018. The number of programs seeking Osteopathic Recognition (OR) continues to climb with 159 applications submitted as of January 21, 2018. In January, we are halfway (30 months) through the transition process, it is time to reflect on the OGME community’s progress and take a look at the status of AOA-accredited programs today.
Notable Milestones During the Transition
AACOM Ad Hoc Committee on GME Transition
In June 2014, AACOM established a nine-member Ad Hoc Committee on GME Transition. The Ad Hoc Committee was tasked with providing expertise and perspective on osteopathic principles and practices (OPP) to help inform the work of the ACGME’s Osteopathic Principles Committee (OPC) as they set out to establish program requirements for Osteopathic Recognition. In carrying out this work, the Ad Hoc Committee produced a white paper titled “Next Steps for Graduate Medical Education: Osteopathic Graduate Medical Education (OGME) and the Single Graduate Medical Education (GME) Accreditation System” which presents scholarly research on osteopathic medical education (OME) and GME. You can read the full report here.
AACOM Survey of OMS III Student Preference for Osteopathic Recognition
In March 2015, AACOM conducted a poll of third-year students at colleges of osteopathic medicine (COMs) who were starting the process of choosing their residency training program. In this survey, third-year students were asked if they would prefer an ACGME program with osteopathic recognition over one without recognition. They were also asked how important osteopathic recognition would be in their rank order of preference for GME programs. DO students overwhelmingly identified OR as a factor impacting their GME program selection, with 70 percent of respondents finding ACGME-accredited programs with osteopathic recognition more appealing than ACGME-accredited programs without osteopathic recognition. AACOM repeated this survey in 2017 and found similar results. You can find both full reports here. The third administration of this survey is currently underway.
Key Advances to Smooth the Transition
The ACGME now includes over 50 osteopathic physicians who serve on ACGME review and recognition committees. Staff and department of Osteopathic Accreditation now is part of the ACGME organizational structure, including a senior vice president of Osteopathic Accreditation and Executive Director of the Osteopathic Principles Committee (OPC) and ONMM Committees.
Changes have also occurred in flexibility adopted by the Review Committees to smooth the transition to the single accreditation system for AOA-accredited programs, students and broader GME community. By May of 2015, several ACGME Review Committees determined that they will accept AOA certification as meeting the board certification requirements to serve as a program director of osteopathic programs seeking ACGME accreditation. This means that an AOA-certified program director may serve without an ABMS member board certified co-program director, provided they meet the other specialty requirements for this role.
The transitional year review committee made a key decision in 2015 to allow for traditional rotating internship programs applying as ACGME transitional year programs with only one sponsoring program instead of two. This decision was an effort to smooth the transition process for AOA-programs.
AOA Board Certification
The ACGME Review Committees in 24 specialties have integrated language on AOA board pass rates to provide clarity and allow graduates of these programs to pursue board certification in their chosen area.In addition, several ACGME Review Committees determined that, during the transition to the single graduate medical education (GME) accreditation system, residency programs in specialties requiring a preliminary clinical year will be permitted flexibility in accepting residents who have completed this training in an AOA-approved program. The Review Committees permitting this flexibility communicated this information through FAQs and/or other communications with program directors in the specialty. View a summary of the Eligibility FAQs for Specialties with a Preliminary Year .
Finally, in March 2017, The ACGME, AACOM and the AOA reached an agreement, giving the AOA restricted authority to allow residents in programs that do not transition by June 30, 2020, the ability to complete accredited training and to advance to board eligibility.
New AACOM Task Force on Clinical Training & the Continuum of Osteopathic Medical Education
AACOM is pleased to announce the establishment of a new task force that will embark on a strategic process of examining and responding to changes in the health care system and in medical education that may impact osteopathic medical education (OME). The task force will examine the current environment, build strategy, and execute initiatives related to clinical training throughout the continuum of OME. Issue-based sub-groups led by task force members will be created and engage experts and thought leaders in medical education. Read more.
The timeline below highlights just a few of the crucial milestones that occurred during the transition process. You can read about other notable events from the SAS transition process in the Key Activities section below.
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