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Allopathic and osteopathic programs will transition to one, national accreditation system

March 6, 2014

The Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME), the American Osteopathic Association (AOA), and the American Association of Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine (AACOM) announced Feb. 26 a single accreditation system for graduate medical education in the U.S.

"The ACGME has high standards centered on improving the quality and safety of health care, so the single GME accreditation system is a good thing not only for trainees, but for the public, health care systems and policy makers," said Patrick Brunett, M.D., FACEP, associate dean for GME. "I expect to see increased collaboration and more opportunities to share resources among GME programs."

What does this mean for allopathic and osteopathic medical school graduates? M.D. and D.O. physicians-in-training will have access to all ACGME-accredited residency and/or fellowship programs and will demonstrate achievement of common Milestones and competencies.

As all undergraduate medical education programs increasingly focus on producing "residency-ready" graduates, allopathic and osteopathic school curricula could become more aligned.

"The opportunity for the allopathic and osteopathic communities to learn from each other will be valuable and will serve OHSU's clinical and education missions," said Dr. Brunett.

The Association of American Medical Colleges President and CEO Darrell G. Kirch, M.D., issued a statement about the agreement in which he said the system "will continue to raise the quality of graduate medical education for new physicians, ensuring a consistently high quality health care workforce for the future. The growing collaboration between the allopathic and osteopathic physician communities will only serve to improve patient care for all Americans."

The single accreditation system announcement came after months of discussion between the ACGME, the AOA and AACOM.