Accreditation, Common Program Requirements, Review Committees
The ACGME established in 1981 as an independent accrediting organization, is a private, non-profit council that evaluates and accredits medical residency programs in the United States.
The ACGME has 28 review committees (one for each of the 26 specialties, one for a special one-year transitional-year general clinical program, and one for institutional review). Each residency committee is comprised of 6 to 15 volunteer physicians. Members of these residency review committees are appointed by the AMA Council on Medical Education and the appropriate medical specialty boards and organizations. Members of the Institutional Review Committee and Transitional Year Committee are appointed by the ACGME Executive Committee and confirmed by the Board of Directors.
The ACGME's member organizations are the American Board of Medical Specialties, American Hospital Association, American Medical Association, Association of American Medical Colleges, and the Council of Medical Specialty Societies. Member organizations each appoint four members to the Board of Directors, which also includes two resident members, three public directors, the chair of the Council of Review Committee Chairs and a non-voting federal representative.
Residency programs must demonstrate substantial compliance with requirements established by the Review Committee for the specialty to be accredited. Each Review Committee has specialty-specific program requirements, but all contain a subset of common program requirements (CPR) that all programs, regardless of specialty, must meet.
As part of the accreditation process, program information is collected from a variety of sources including: program-specific information provided by the program director in the Program Information Form (PIF); resident survey question responses; and information collected by field staff (site visitors) as part of the site visit. The PIF contains questions related to the CPR and questions related to specialty-specific requirements. The Common Program Information Form (PIF) effective July 1, 2007 is closely aligned with the revised common program requirements so program directors can more easily plan for documenting program compliance with the requirements.