Recently, the Accrediting Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) announced that by 2020, all allopathic and osteopathic residency programs would come together under one umbrella accreditation system. This is a significant shift away from the historical separation between MD and DO programs. DocThoughts’ Host, Nirmal Gosalia, invited Dr. John Potts, Senior VP of Surgical Accreditation at the ACGME and key leader in the implementation of the Single GME System, to clarify the decision and its future impact on graduate medical education.
The tradition of long hours on the floor is an old one in American medical training. And criticism of this tradition is of long standing too. The controversy over the grueling residency schedules is not a new one, but neither is it one that has been successfully resolved. It can still spark off strong feelings in both the proponents and opponents of cutting back on the length of residency shifts and/or the time off between shifts for professionals engaged in this important stage in their medical education. What’s more, it is a topic which has pitted respected healthcare institutions such as the Harvard School for Public Health and the American Academy of Family Physicians against one another, so much so that this issue is not likely to be resolved anytime soon.