The education students receive in an osteopathic medical school is undergraduate medical education, and the subsequent training provided in a residency and fellowship program is graduate medical education (GME).
After graduating from an osteopathic medical school, students seeking licensure continue training in graduate training programs called “residency,” the first year of which may be called an “internship” or a “transitional year.” Successful completion of a residency program is required for specialty board certification.
GME typically focuses on one field of practice. Examples include family medicine, pediatrics, emergency medicine, surgery, preventive medicine, dermatology, radiology, and others.
Two organizations currently accredit GME programs: the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) and the American Osteopathic Association (AOA), which accredits osteopathic residency programs only. As of July 1, 2015, implementation of a single GME accreditation system (SAS) is underway under the umbrella of the ACGME. The new system is slated to be in place by June 30, 2020. By the end of the transition period for the single accreditation system (June 30, 2020) the AOA will no longer accredit residency programs. As a result of this new system, there will be significant changes to GME that will ease the application and participation process, as well as broaden opportunities to participate in GME programs.