AOA and ACGME Fail To Reach Agreement

(July, 2013) The American Osteopathic Association (AOA) and the American Association of Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine (AACOM) announced they have been unsuccessful in reaching an agreement on a new unified graduate medical education (GME) accreditation system with the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME).

Speaking for the AOA-AACOM negotiation team during the AOA's annual meeting in Chicago, Boyd Buser, DO, told delegates that the AOA and AACOM remain open to continued discussions with the ACGME. 

Buser is Vice President for Health Affairs and Dean of KYCOM at University of Pikeville. Following his report, the AOA House unanimously voted to support the AOA Board's position.

"The AOA and AACOM strongly believe that the health of the American public will benefit from a uniform path of preparation for the next generation of physicians designed to evaluate the effectiveness of GME programs in producing competent physicians, " said Ray E. Stower, DO, outgoing AOA President.
He added that AOA also remains committed to protecting the distinctiveness and identity of the osteopathic medical profession including the five core principles that were significant to developing a unified graduate medical education accreditation system.  Non-negotiables include:

  • The discussion is limited to GME and does not extend backward to undergraduate medical education or forward to licensing or certification.
  • The osteopathic medicine licensing examination (COMLEX-USA) remains in place and viable.
  •  Osteopathic board certification remains in place and viable.
  • Osteopathic physicians must be given an equal opportunity to participate in all training programs under any unified accreditation system.
  • Any unified accreditation system must not adversely affect primary care programs in community-based settings.

Stowers said the osteopathic medical profession will continue to grow OGME programs across the U.S. to ensure that all DO graduates have a place to train once they graduate. He said more than 1,100 new OGME positions were created within 75 new programs this year.  This means that now there are more than 12,000 osteopathic graduate medical education positions available.

"We thank the osteopathic medical community for your feedback, your support and your patience during this discussion period," said Stowers.  "We can assure you that the AOA and AACOM remain strong in protecting the identity and distinctiveness of the osteopathic medical profession while ensuring that our training programs are of top quality."

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