Source: ACGME Frequently Asked Questions: Single Accreditation System
An individual who has completed an ACGME-accredited residency program in any given specialty is eligible for appointment to any ACGME-accredited subspecialty (fellowship) program that allows prerequisite training in that specialty, regardless of which licensing examination(s) that individual has pursued.
An individual who has completed a residency program after that program has achieved pre-accreditation status is eligible for appointment to an ACGME-accredited subspecialty program according to the eligibility requirements for that subspecialty that were in effect June 30, 2013 or will be in effect July 1, 2016, whichever is less restrictive.* Again, this is regardless of which licensing examination(s) that individual has pursued. If the individual is appointed under the “exceptionally qualified applicant” provision detailed in the ACGME Common Program Requirements, and has successfully completed Levels 1, 2, and 3 of COMLEX USA, the candidate will not be required to take USMLE. This applies only to graduates of programs with a status of pre-accreditation.
An individual who has completed pre-requisite training in a program that was not ACGME accredited and did not have pre-accreditation status at the time that the individual completed training is subject to the eligibility criteria in effect as of the date that individual would matriculate into subspecialty (fellowship) training. Beginning July 1, 2016, some subspecialties will accept as eligible “exceptionally qualified applicants” (as defined in the ACGME Common Program Requirements effective that date). One of the criteria that must be met for the “exceptionally qualified applicant” is satisfactory completion of the USMLE Steps 1, 2, and, if the candidate is eligible, 3. NOTE: Some subspecialties did not in 2013, and will not in 2016, accept as prerequisite training anything other than completion of an ACGME-accredited program.
*The eligibility requirements for every ACGME-accredited subspecialty that were in effect as of June 30, 2013, that were/are in effect between June 30, 2013 and July 1, 2016, and that will be in effect as of July 1, 20