News update

Students: 7 things to know about the single GME accreditation system transition

A recent webinar hosted by AACOM discussed the 2017 AOA Match, the future of AOA board certification and more.


As osteopathic medical students gear up for the 2017 residency match cycle, the American Association of Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine (AACOM) recently hosted a webinar to provide key info on how the transition to a single accreditation system for graduate medical education will affect them. The recorded webinar, along with slides and a recap of key points, is posted on the AACOM website. Here are seven essential takeaways.

  1. What’s changing? The accreditation of graduate medical education is being streamlined. The rest of the osteopathic educational system, such as undergraduate medical education, COMLEX-USA, board certification and osteopathic continuing medical education, will continue to provide distinctive training for future and current DOs.

  2. Residency match: In 2017, it’s expected that all AOA-accredited programs will participate in the AOA Match. AOA-accredited programs that have received ACGME accreditation may still participate in this year’s match.
  3. AOA program application deadlines: To protect residents, residency programs that are four or more years long must apply for ACGME accreditation by Jan. 1, 2017, to participate in the 2017 AOA Match. This only requires a program to obtain ‘application’ status but not necessarily to have received initial accreditation from the ACGME.
  4. COMLEX-USA: Passing the COMLEX Level 1, Level 2-CE and Level 2-PE exams are graduation requirements for all DO students.
  5. Board certification: If you begin an AOA-accredited residency program during the transition and your program later obtains ACGME accreditation, you’ll still be eligible for AOA board certification. Once the transition is complete, AOA board certification will continue to be a meaningful step DOs can take to reinforce their osteopathic training and maintain their osteopathic distinctiveness.
  6. Osteopathic recognition: All ACGME-accredited residency programs can apply for osteopathic recognition, which recognizes their commitment to teaching osteopathic principles and practice. Want to know more about osteopathic recognition? Here’s what program leaders in Cleveland and Sandusky, Ohio, say about it.
  7. Fellowship eligibility requirements: If you’re a resident in a program with pre-accreditation status and you want to enter an ACGME fellowship program, you’ll be subject to eligibility requirements from 2013 or 2016, whichever are less restrictive.

    Among ACGME specialties that require a preliminary year, several have indicated that during the transition, there will be flexibility in accepting residents who train in an AOA-accredited internship program that’s not yet pre-accredited or accredited by the ACGME. Learn more.

More info

For a full recap of the webinar, including slides and links to relevant FAQs, visit the AACOM website.

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