OOA Supports Unified Accreditation Program for GME


The American Osteopathic Association (AOA), the American Association of Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine (AACOM) and the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME), have entered into an agreement to pursue a single, unified accreditation system for  graduate medical education programs  beginning in July 2015.

"This is a watershed moment for medical training in the U.S.," noted Thomas Nasca, MD, MACP, ACGME's chief executive officer. "This would provide physicians in the United States with a uniform path of preparation for practice. This approach would ensure that the evaluation and accountability for the competency of resident physicians are consistent across all programs," he added.

The agreement follows more than a year of advocacy work by the AOA to preserve DO access to ACGME programs. After numerous discussions, the three organizations agreed to work toward defining a process, format and timetable for ACGME to accredit all osteopathic graduate medical education programs currently accredited by AOA.  AOA and AACOM would then become organizational members of ACGME.

"Americans deserve a health care system where continuously improving the quality of care and the health of our patients is the driving force," stressed AOA President Ray E. Stowers, DO. "A unified accreditation system creates an opportunity to set universal standards for demonstrating competency with a focus on positive outcomes and the ability to share information on best practices."

Stephen C. Shannon, DO, MPH, President of AACOM, adds that "AACOM is undertaking this historic initiative because we believe that a unified accreditation system will improve the quality and efficiency of graduate medical education."

ACGME currently accredits more than 9,000 graduate medical education programs  with about 116,000 resident physicians, including about 8,900 DOs. The AOA accredits more than 1,000 osteopathic graduate medical education programs with approximately 6,900 resident physicians, all DOs. The transition to a unified system would be seamless so that residents in or entering current AOA accredited residency programs will be eligible to complete residency and/or fellowship training in ACGME accredited residency and fellowship programs.

OOA Board Supports the Unification Efforts

"The OOA Board of Trustees supports the AOA, AACOM and ACGME as they enter into an agreement to pursue a single, unified accreditation system for graduate medical education," said OOA President John Ramey, DO. "A unified accreditation system will preserve DO access to ACGME programs, while formally recognizing AOA training and board certification for DOs who currently serve or want to serve as ACGME faculty."

"The OOA also supports the retention of OPP/OMM core competencies for osteopathic-focused training programs and AOA board certification for all DOs through this new single accreditation system," continued Ramey.

Several Ohioans, including OU-HCOM Dean Kenneth H. Johnson, DO, have been involved in negotiations with the ACGME since July 2011. The OOA will continue to work with Johnson to ensure the concerns of OOA members, osteopathic students, residents, and the Centers for Osteopathic Research and Education are addressed. 

The AOA knows there will be many questions from the profession during this period of negotiations . To answer initial questions about why this is occurring, where it is going, and how it will affect members of the osteopathic family, The DO recorded a video message from AOA Executive Director John B. Crosby, JD.  Learn more about the agreement between the AOA, ACGME and AACOM.

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