Allopathic and Osteopathic Medicine Unify GME Accreditation: A Historic Convergence
Books and documents
Osteopathic Manipulative Treatment
Fam Med. 2017 May;49(5):374-377.
Abdul-Kareem H Ahmed, Peter F Schnatz, Eli Y Adashi
In 1968, the American Medical Association resolved to accept qualified graduates of osteopathic medical schools into its accredited Graduate Medical Education (GME) programs. An equally momentous decision was arrived at in 2014 when the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME), the American Osteopathic Association (AOA), and the American Association of Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine (AACOM) resolved to institute a single unified GME accreditation system by July 1, 2020. As envisioned, the unified accreditation system will all but assure system-wide consistency of purpose and practice in anticipation of the Next Accreditation System (NAS) of the ACGME. Governance integration replete with AOA and AACOM and osteopathic representation on the ACGME Board of Directors is now well underway. What is more, osteopathic representation on current Review Committees (RCs) and in a newly established one with an osteopathic focus has been instituted. Viewed broadly, the unification of the GME accreditation system goes a long way toward recognizing the overlapping characteristics in the training and practice of allopathic and osteopathic medicine. As such, this momentous development represents the latest, indeed boldest leap toward convergence between the two historic branches of American medicine. In this Health Policy Analysis we seek to place the impending unification of the GME accreditation process in its historical context, delineate its near-term impact, and discuss the potential long-term implications thereof.