In April 2014, the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) and the American Osteopathic Association (AOA) agreed to unify their resident physician training programs under the model used by the ACGME, which is the academic medical center model. They did this with no input from Congress, or the community based residency programs that this would adversely impact.
The agreement made
by ACGME and AOA:
- Eliminates the community residency training model, which is scheduled to be phased out by July 1, 2020.
- Increases expenses associated with training osteopathic residents under GME.
- Diminishes the ability of osteopathic medical graduates to be placed in residency slots.
- Creates a monopoly in medical accreditation which has not been subject to any public examination.
The SMART Coalition was formed to protect the physician pipeline — particularly smaller communities served by the community based residency model — and to ensure that federal Graduate Medicine Education (GME) funds are directed toward all communities, particularly those experiencing a physician shortage, and lastly, to maintain the osteopathic tradition of physician training which has been extremely successful.