The ACGME and The Accreditation Process

The Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) is a private professional organization responsible for ensuring the quality of more than 9,600 accredited residency and fellowship programs that are collectively responsible for the education of more than 120,000 residents and fellows.

Accreditation of residency/fellowship programs and sponsoring institutions by the ACGME is a voluntary process of evaluation and review performed by a non-governmental agency of peers. The goals of the process are to evaluate, improve, and publicly recognize graduate medical education programs and sponsoring institutions that are in substantial compliance with the standards of educational quality established by the ACGME. Accreditation protects the interests of residents/fellows; improves the quality of teaching, learning, research, and professional practice; and benefits the public. The ACGME’s policies and standards support the ACGME mission.

The Review and Recognition Committees

The ACGME relies on a system of specialty experts to articulate accreditation decisions governing accredited programs. There are 29 committees known as Review Committees that carry out the function of reviewing and determining accreditation statuses for accredited programs. There is a Review Committee for each major specialty area with responsibility to accredit programs in the specialty and its related subspecialties, one for Transitional Year programs, and one for Osteopathic Neuromusculoskeletal Medicine (OMNM), as well as one Recognition Committee called the Osteopathic Principles Committee, which grants recognition to ACGME-accredited programs providing osteopathic-focused education. Compliance with the ACGME requirements for sponsoring institutions is assessed by the Institutional Review Committee (IRC). Members of the specialty Review Committees are physicians trained in their disciplines. Many are medical educators with expertise in residency education. Joining an ACGME Committee is considered a prestigious appointment and offers an individual the opportunity to make a meaningful contribution to graduate medical education.

The ACGME and its Committees are fully committed to the task of improving the quality of resident/fellow education in the United States.

Updated: March 11, 2015

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