AOA and ACGME Merger to Enhance Dual-Accreditation Process for the MICH Division of Education
Ingrid Walker-Descartes, MD, MPH
Revital Caronia, DO
Osteopathic Associate Program Director
The American Osteopathic Association (AOA), along with the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) and the American Association of Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine (AACOM ), have entered into an agreement to pursue a single, unified accreditation system for graduate medical education programs in the United States beginning in July, 2015. This decision comes after the ACGME proposed two policies (Common Program Requirements) about a year ago. One policy would limit the ability for AOA-trained DOs to enter a second year of training in an ACGME program. The other policy would no longer recognize completion of an AOA-accredited residency program for entry into an ACGME fellowship. Given our track record for placement of our osteopathic residents in reputable ACGME fellowship programs the ACGME posed an interesting conundrum for our dually-accredited program.
According to the President of the American Osteopathic Association, Ray E. Stowers, D.O., “A unified accreditation system creates an opportunity to set universal standards for demonstrating competency with a focus on positive outcomes and the ability to share information on best practices.” It is our hope that this unified accreditation system will preserve access for our trainees to ACGME residency and fellowship programs. It will also formally recognize AOA training and board certification for DOs wanting to serve, and currently serving, as ACGME faculty.
Over the coming months, the organizations reports they will work toward defining a process, format and timetable for ACGME to accredit all osteopathic graduate medical education programs currently accredited by the AOA such as our residency training program here at MICH. In addition, OPP/OMM core competencies will remain intact in osteopathic-focused training programs with the new system strongly encouraging AOA board certification for DOs.
Regardless of the outcomes of this process, the Division of Education will continue to be dedicated to upholding our dual-accreditation status which ensures that both our osteopathic and allopathic trainees emerge equally competent in the ACGME core competencies and OPP/OMM core competencies.