• DOs and MDs Announce Unified Residency System

    KANSAS CITY, Mo. (Oct. 25, 2012) – A recent announcement about the planned merger of MD and DO graduate medical or residency programs is good news all around. Good for Kansas City University of Medicine and Biosciences-College of Osteopathic Medicine graduates and good for the state of Missouri.

    The American Association of Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine (AACOM), the American Osteopathic Association (AOA), and the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) announced yesterday initiative plans to unify the accreditation system for graduate medical education (GME) programs nationally.

    According to Marc B. Hahn, DO, the recently appointed executive vice president for academic and medical affairs, provost and dean of KCU-COM, this merger will provide a single organization that governs all residency training programs for MDs and DOs. It should simplify the training options for osteopathic medical school graduates and establish a single entity that can advocate for governance and financing for GME in this country.

    He views the successful merging of both the AOA accrediting process with the ACGME as a great benefit to KCU graduates and to the state of Missouri.

    “KCU is excited about the prospect of unifying the two programs of GME accreditation, because it will ensure enhanced opportunities for our medical school graduates to pursue limitless post-graduate training options,” Hahn said.

    “As the largest medical school in Missouri, KCUMB’s graduates fill residency and fellowship programs throughout the state,” he said. “These changes will assure that GME programs in Missouri are more likely to be filled with physicians who are committed to remain in the community where they were educated.”

    GME is the period of clinical education in a medical specialty following graduation from medical school, ultimately preparing physicians for independent practice. Currently, the ACGME accredits more than 9,000 programs that train both MD physicians and osteopathic physicians (DOs). The AOA accredits more than 1,000 osteopathic GME programs with about 6,900 DO resident physicians.

    The proposed transition to a unified system would be seamless, so that residents who are currently in or entering AOA-accredited residency programs will be eligible to complete residency and/or fellowship training in ACGME-accredited programs.

    Entering into an agreement to pursue a single accreditation system for GME programs or residencies beginning July 2015, the three organizations have committed to work toward defining a process, format and timetable for the ACGME to accredit all osteopathic residency programs that are currently accredited by the AOA.

    Thomas Nasca, MD, MAC.P, chief executive officer of ACGME, described this move as a “watershed moment for medical training.”

    “This would provide physicians in the United States with a uniform path of preparation for practice,” Nasca said. “This approach would ensure that evaluation and accountability for competency of resident physicians are consistent across all programs.”

    About KCUMB

    Kansas City University of Medicine and Biosciences is a fully accredited, private university, with a College of Biosciences and a College of Osteopathic Medicine. Founded in 1916, its College of Osteopathic Medicine is the oldest medical school in Kansas City, Mo., and the largest in the state.

    Posted: 10/25/2012