GME accreditation

Single GME update: Over 1,600 new positions added to formerly AOA-only programs

More training positions are now available to DOs while nearly 40% of all ACGME programs now have at least one DO in training.

There are now 21,801 DOs training in residency programs accredited by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) compared to 10,999 DOs in 2015 when the transition to a single graduate medical education accreditation system began.

The total number of DOs training in ACGME-accredited residency programs rose 98% over the past four years, according to ACGME, reflecting both the growth in graduates from osteopathic medical schools and the expansion of residency positions.

Currently, 89% of AOA-accredited programs that have applied to ACGME have received accreditation and 39% of all ACGME programs have at least one DO in training.

More positions available for DOs

There are 16 months remaining in the five-year transition to a single GME accreditation system. Over the past four years, several transitioned programs increased in size. More than 1,600 additional training positions were added to formerly AOA-only programs. That growth does not include new residency positions developed since 2016 by colleges of osteopathic medicine.

“The growth in overall residency positions and DOs entering ACGME programs demonstrates that today’s students have more opportunities for residency training than ever before,” says AOA Past President Boyd R. Buser, DO. “The AOA remains committed to a successful transition for our students, current trainees and residency programs.”

Program closures

Although there has been a growth in total positions, a total of 171 AOA programs have closed since the beginning of the transition, mirroring historical program closure rates. Many closed programs did not have any residents in training, noted Jim Swartwout, AOA senior vice president for education.

“Nearly four years into the transition, there is a net gain in residency positions and our program closure rate is right in line with what we expected,” he said.


An estimated 7,337 fourth-year osteopathic medical students and previous graduates have already matched or are currently seeking residency training positions in 2019. Earlier this year, some 1,150 osteopathic seniors and previous graduates matched into training programs during the final AOA Match and the Military Match.

The number of osteopathic graduates entering ACGME-accredited pipeline programs now stands at about 6,300, more than double the 2,930 reported by ACGME for academic year 2014-2015. Results of the NRMP match will be announced March 15.

Related reading:

Single GME update: More than 6,600 AOA residency positions are now ACGME-accredited

The 5 most competitive subspecialties in the NRMP’s 2018-2019 fellowship matches

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