Delegates representing the nation’s more than 104,000 osteopathic physicians (DOs) and osteopathic medical students voted Saturday (July 19) to support a decision by the American Osteopathic Association (AOA) Board of Trustees to pursue a new, single accreditation system for graduate medical education (GME).
This decision clears the way for DO and MD granting medical schools, hospitals, and community health centers to develop a single standard for residency program training. Graduating students from DO or MD schools can now become board-eligible, practicing physicians in the United States through a single accrediting system.
Members of the Ohio Delegation unanimously supported the decision after the OOA House of Delegates passed a resolution, April 26, affirming its confidence in AOA leadership and the AOA Board decision to move forward with a single accreditation system. Ohio's osteopathic postdoctoral training consortium is developing a plan to apply for Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) recognition as soon as possible.
"The Ohio Osteopathic Association, Ohio University Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine and Centers for Osteopathic Reserach and Education (CORE) are working together to define our state's role under the new unified accreditation system," wrote OOA President Paul T. Scheatzle, DO, in a letter sent to AOA Past President Norman E. Vinn, DO, May 21. "We believe that the CORE, which was the first accredited Osteopathic Postdoctoral Training Institution (OPTI) in the nation can be a model for the osteopathic profession.
"With more than 600 postdoctoral trainees, seven affiliated colleges of osteopathic medicine, eleven participating teaching hospitals and 16 affiliated teaching facilities, Ohio can help shape the new accreditation process to maintain osteopathic integrity, and identify obstacles and opportunities along the way," Scheatzle wrote. "We know that many challenges lie ahead, but by working together, we are confident the profession will emerge stronger than ever in a new era of collaboration."
This historic vote during the annual meeting of the AOA House of Delegates in Chicago comes after an announcement in February that AACOM, the AOA, and the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) reached an agreement to work together to prepare future generations of physicians.
When fully implemented in July 2020, the new system will allow graduates of U.S. DO and MD medical schools to complete their residency and/or fellowship education in ACGME-accredited programs and demonstrate achievement of common milestones and competencies.
AACOM and AOA strongly believe the public will benefit from a single standardized system to evaluate the effectiveness of GME programs for producing competent physicians. Through osteopathic-focused residency programs, the new GME accreditation system will recognize the unique principles and practices of the osteopathic medical profession and its contributions to health care in the United States. For more information on the single GME accreditation system, visit www.osteopathic.org/singleGME .