December 2017 marks the halfway point in the transition to the Single Graduate Medical Education (GME) Accreditation System.
The transition is proceeding smoothly and in many cases, ahead of schedule, according to AOA leaders. Of 862 programs, 667—or about 75 percent—of AOA residency programs have achieved ACGME accreditation or are in the process of applying.
Here are the key points for students, residents and program directors.
Certainty for current residents
Since day one, AOA has been committed to ensuring that all osteopathic residents are protected during the transition process.
An agreement among AOA, ACGME and AACOM allows residents currently in training to complete AOA-accredited training in the event that the training program does not achieve ACGME accreditation prior to June 30, 2020.
To further protect residents, three-year programs that have not applied for ACGME accreditation by Dec. 31, 2017, will not be able to participate in the 2018 AOA Match and will be removed from ERAS to ensure no residents match into them.
The last AOA match will likely be in February 2019.
Significant progress for programs
As of December 2017, 62 percent of AOA programs–fellowships, internships, residencies–have become ACGME-accredited or have submitted applications.
Over 75 percent of residency programs have applied or received ACGME accreditation.
Students want osteopathic recognition
With 70 percent of osteopathic medical students surveyed saying they consider osteopathic recognition important, residency programs see osteopathic recognition as a way to respond to market demand and an opportunity to differentiate their programs.
More than 140 programs transitioning have sought osteopathic recognition, which occurs after ACGME accreditation.
Up-to-date information about residencies with osteopathic recognition is available online.
Closures match historical pace
There have not been significant increases of programs closing during the Single Accreditation System transition. On average, 44 programs close yearly.
Common reasons why programs close:
- No trainees in the program for multiple years
- The institution closes
- Funding issues
- Loss of the program director
Leadership opportunities for DOs
Positions periodically open up on ACGME review committees. The AOA sends out notices to specialty colleges and state societies requesting DOs for those open positions. Contact your state or specialty college expressing your interest in seeking one of those positions or email firstname.lastname@example.org and ask to be notified when positions become open.
The ACGME is also seeking program directors and certifying board members to participate on the new Milestones 2.0 project. Contact your specialty college if you are interested in participating as a program director.
Application assistance for program directors
The AOA stands ready to assist all programs as they navigate the journey to ACGME accreditation and osteopathic recognition.
The AOA’s Application Assistance Program supports osteopathic GME programs throughout the Single GME Accreditation System application process. Consultants guide programs through ACGME applications, help programs prepare for site visits, assist with Continued Pre-Accreditation responses, and help programs achieve osteopathic recognition.
The AOA is in weekly contact with programs that are still navigating the application process for ACGME accreditation and those that are unsure about their next steps. More than 170 programs have used AOA’s free Application Assistance Program, with 30 programs currently working with a consultant on their applications.
Program directors can email email@example.com to be connected with an expert peer consultant at no cost to the program.
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