Last week’s announcement that the three key groups involved in accreditation of graduate medical education have agreed to a single accreditation system marks a turning point in health care education in our country.
As many of you learned in a WesternU news release distributed to our campuses on February 26, the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME), the American Osteopathic Association (AOA), and the American Association of Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine (AACOM) settled on a single system for graduate medical education (GME) after several months of intense negotiation.
The agreement ensures that the evaluation of, and accountability for, the competency of all resident physicians – MDs and DOs – will be consistent across all programs. A single accreditation system will allow graduates of allopathic and osteopathic medical schools to complete their residency and/or fellowship education in ACGME-accredited programs, and demonstrate achievement of common milestones and competencies. ACGME and AOA currently maintain separate accreditation systems for allopathic and osteopathic programs.
What’s most encouraging about this agreement, in my view, is the acknowledgement on the part of everyone involved that the training of future generations of physicians — more and more of whom will be needed as the U.S. health care system evolves and expands – requires a broad and roomy approach to GME that includes the best of the osteopathic and allopathic care philosophies and techniques. The objective is to help create the best physicians possible by providing them with the opportunities and resources needed to learn, grow, and ultimately be of highest and best service to communities across the country.
This new agreement, forged through the willingness and vision of those who embrace the similarities between osteopathic and allopathic medicine, and see the differences as an opportunity to learn and broaden horizons, represents a unified front in the effort to recruit and train sorely needed health care providers. The AOA, AACOM, ACGME, and the many institutions partnered in providing GME are to be commended for their work, which is a giant step forward for all medical graduates, patients and communities, and the future of health care.
As a final thought, I’m pleased to note that this is the 100th “Benchmarks of Value” message I’ve sent to our campuses since initiating these communiqués in November 2008. I hope you’ve enjoyed reading them and commenting on them as much as I have enjoyed writing them and hearing from you all. Here’s to another 100!
As always, I welcome your feedback on this topic and any others as we discuss WesternU’s Benchmarks of Value, and our plans. Please e-mail me with your thoughts at firstname.lastname@example.org, and feel free to share this message with your family and friends.
My best to you all,