Single GME news

AOA-certified docs can now be program directors for ACGME residencies in all specialties

A recent update to ACGME’s common program requirements specifies that AOA board certification is acceptable for faculty and program directors serving in any ACGME program.


The Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) recently updated its common program requirements to specify that program directors are required to have either AOA board certification or certification from the American Board of Medical Specialties.

The ACGME’s new common program requirements become effective on July 1, 2019. All ACGME residency and fellowship programs in all specialties and subspecialties are required to adhere to ACGME’s common program requirements.

All of ACGME’s 29 residency review committees are now accepting program directors with AOA board certification, an important milestone in the transition to a single GME accreditation system, notes AOA Past President Karen J. Nichols, DO.

“Having AOA board certification accepted as one of the two certification systems that qualify a physician for appointment as a program director in an ACGME-accredited residency is a major step in recognizing the quality of the osteopathic educational approach,” says Dr. Nichols, an ACGME board member who serves on the organization’s executive and governance committees.

ACGME’s full updated common program requirements are available

Further reading:

Single GME accreditation: A brief update

UNECOM and ATSU-SOMA first COMs to receive 10-year accreditation


  1. Joanne Baker DO, FACOI, FAODME

    Unless something has changed, the ABIM has placed a time limit on those AOBIM Program Directors who need to certify that their graduates can sit for the ABIM exam. Last checked they are requiring that all program directors starting in 2022, be ABIM certified in order to allow their MD and DO graduates sit for the ABIM exam. I feel this should have been included in the article. Hopefully, the ACGME and AOA are working to correct this as it goes against what is written in the new commom program requirements and the MOU for Single Accreditation System.

  2. Joanne Baker DO, FACOI, FAODME

    Unless something has changed recently, the article does not comment on the fact that the ABIM has changed their policy to TEMPORARILY allow program directors who are AOBIM certified to recommend their graduates (MD and DO) for the ABIM exam. This goes away after 2021 and then only those program directors who are ABIM certified will be allowed to recommend their graduates to sit for the ABIM exam. I feel this is a problem that both the AOA and ACGME should be actively addressing as it goes against the common program requirements and the MOU for Single Accreditation System. Speaking on behalf of many of my AOBIM colleagues, we hope to see this go away so that all boards will be recognized.

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