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Print-Friendly Page Print | Email Email ACGME Approves Changes to Eligibility Requirements in Common Program Requirements  



Update:  Common Program Requirements: Revisions to Eligibility Requirements Approved (October 21, 2013)

The revised common requirements for residency and fellowship eligibility were approved by the ACGME Board of Directors at its September meeting. They are effective July 1, 2016, and will supersede the eligibility requirements approved by the board last year. The full Common Program Requirements and the One-Year Common Program Requirements are available online.

Each Residency Review Committee will decide by December 31, 2013, whether to adopt the exception specified in the common language.  View frequently asked questions (FAQs) regarding the new requirements.

Update:  ACGME Proposes Revisions to Resident and Fellow Eligibility in Common Program Requirements (August 19, 2013)

Proposed revisions to the Common Program Requirements (exceptions to eligibility requirements) and an impact statement have been posted on the ACGME website for review and comment. Comments will be accepted until September 9, 2013. The proposed revisions will become effective July 1, 2015.

View proposed revisions and impact statement

On September 26, 2013, the ACGME Committee on Requirements will hold an open forum on proposed exceptions to eligibility requirements in the Common Program Requirements. Each presenter at the open forum will be granted three to five minutes for an oral presentation, depending upon the number of presenters. Any organization or person that previously submitted written comment on the proposed exception to eligibility requirements and wishes to present orally at the open forum may do so. However, as the Committee on Requirements will have reviewed all previously submitted written comments, the Committee strongly urges that any such presentation be different in substance from the previously submitted written comment.


Update: ACGME Releases Focused Revision to Common Program Requirements Language for Review and Comment (April 4, 2013)

In preparation for the implementation of the Next Accreditation System (NAS), the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) released proposed language for the evaluation section within the new common program requirements.  The further revised language ensures that programs have the framework needed to support the goals for NAS.  To further inform the language, ACGME requests comments from the academic medicine community.

The new language requires program directors to appoint clinical competency committees to evaluate residents based on milestones.  Also, evaluation committees will be appointed to annually evaluate the residency programs.

Comments should be submitted directly to ACGME by May 15, 2013, using ACGME’s review and comment form.  Completed forms should be sent to

Read the impact statement and new common program requirements language


ACGME to Hold Open Forum on Proposed Eligibility Requirements on September 28

The Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) Committee on Requirements will hold an open forum on September 28, 2012, to discuss the proposed eligibility requirements.  The meeting will be held in the ACGME offices at 515 North State Street, Floor 20, in Chicago, Illinois, from 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. (CDT).  Any person or organization wishing to make an oral presentation at the meeting should inform Brenda Trevino at by September 17.  Presenters will be granted three to five minutes for an oral presentation.


ACGME Delays Decision on Proposed Changes to Common Program Requirements

The Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) Board of Directors did not review or approve the proposed revision to Section III.A.3 of the Common Program Requirements as originally planned at its February Board meeting.  Instead, ACGME’s Council of Review Committee Chairs (CRCC) will take additional time to thoroughly review the large number of comments received before making its recommendation to the ACGME Board.  The proposed revision is more restrictive with respect to the eligibility requirements for residents seeking appointment to ACGME programs.

The ACGME Board plans to review the CRCC’s recommendation at its June 2012 meeting.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------AAIM submitted comments to the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) opposing the proposed changes to Section III.A.3 of the Common Program Requirements.  The letter outlines some of the negative consequences that may result from these proposed changes.  If approved, the proposed changes go into effect on July 1, 2015, and are more restrictive with respect to the eligibility requirements for resident appointment to ACGME programs.

View ACGME's rationale and expected impact of the change

If this new language is approved, it will overwrite the RRC-IM’s current requirement that program’s must ensure that, over a five year period, at least 75% of fellows in a fellowship program must be graduates of an ACGME-accredited internal medicine program.

Clarifications to the proposed language:  AAIM leadership asked ACGME staff several questions, the responses to which have been posted for member review.If a resident is from a foreign medical school, that resident will not be eligible to be part of an ACGME fellowship program.  Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates (ECFMG) certification will not count as of 2015.  Correct?

This change will not impact eligibility into a core IM program. The Institutional Requirements will still allow graduates of US allopathic schools, osteopathic schools, and foreign medical schools who satisfy ECFMG requirements to enter accredited IM residency programs. However, if the proposed change is approved (and goes into effect in July of 2015), it will not allow a graduate of an American Osteopathic Association (AOA)-accredited IM residency program to enter an ACGME-accredited IM fellowship program.  At that point in time, the only way to enter an ACGME-accredited IM fellowship program will be to complete an ACGME-accredited residency program or a Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada (RCPSC)-accredited residency program located in Canada.


In terms of the ACGME’s new efforts in Singapore (and internationally), is it possible that there will be many ACGME accredited programs outside the US by 2015?

ACGME-accredited is not the same or equivalent to ACGME-International-(ACGME-I)accredited. As such, the proposed language will not allow graduates of ACGME-I-accredited IM programs to enter ACGME-accredited IM fellowship programs.

Although ACGME-I currently accredits 39 programs in 15 different specialties in Singapore (and there is a high likelihood that it will accredit programs in other parts of the world in the future), it is separate and distinct from ACGME – albeit there is much overlap in program requirements and other content. In fact, ACGME-I has its own presence in the cyber/electronic world.


Can a graduate of an ACGME-I program or a foreign program outside Canada enter an ACGME-accredited fellowship?

The proposed requirements will limit who is eligible to enter into an ACGME accredited fellowship program to only those who have completed an ACGME-accredited residency program or a RCPSC-accredited residency program located in Canada. A graduate that completed training in an ACGME-I accredited program or a graduate of a RCPSC-accredited residency program not located in Canada would not be eligible to enter an ACGME-accredited fellowship program.


Said in another way, if a foreign trained internist wanted to do a cardiology fellowship at an institution where the fellowship is ACGME accredited, they could only do so in parallel to the existing program and would not be able to receive a credential from that program?

If a foreign trained internist wanted to do a cardiology fellowship at an institution where there is an ACGME-accredited cardiology program, the proposed requirement would not allow the program to count this individual as occupying one of the program’s approved fellowship positions.  In short, this individual would not be listed in ACGME’s accreditation database as a fellow in the program. The credentialing issue you refer to is an important local/institutional issue, but not one that is within the purview of the ACGME.

The proposed change will significantly impact who is eligible to enter ACGME-accredited fellowship programs in the future.  However, the proposed change reinforces that there are decided differences in education, expectations, and demonstrated competence between ACGME/RCPSC and non-ACGME/RCPSC trained individuals. The impact statement provides a much fuller explanation/justification for the proposed change.

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