ACGME Releases Latest Statistics on Graduate Medical Education Programs and Resident Physicians

29 September 2016

Today the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) released its newly organized and expanded 2015-2016 Data Resource Book, the most comprehensive and reliable resource of its kind, including data on the size, scope, and distribution of graduate medical education (GME) in the U.S.

Following steady growth in accredited programs over the last decade, the 2015-2016 academic year showed the largest annual increase of programs; up 3% from the previous academic year. These 9,977 accredited programs include 124,409 active residents and fellows in 149 specialties and subspecialties.

The highest rate of growth was in “pipeline” programs that prepare physicians for initial board certification. Pipeline positions determine the size of the future physician workforce. The majority of residents entering these programs are in internal medicine, family medicine, pediatrics, emergency medicine, psychiatry, obstetrics and gynecology, and general surgery.

"The increase of over 900 entrants into pipeline programs will help to make sure that we have physicians who meet the needs of patients," said ACGME CEO Thomas J. Nasca, MD, MACP. "The growth of resident physicians entering these ACGME programs was fueled by initiatives designed to expand primary care, along with the transition to a single accreditation system bringing together the allopathic and osteopathic GME communities."

This is the first year that the ACGME began to recognize osteopathic training in ACGMEaccredited programs. The transition to a single accreditation system, through an agreement between the ACGME, the American Osteopathic Association (AOA), and the American Association of Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine (AACOM), allows graduates of allopathic and osteopathic medical schools to complete their residency education in ACGME-accredited programs and demonstrate achievement of common Milestones and competencies.

This is the 14th year of publication of the ACGME Data Resource Book. The full 2015-2016 book can be found on the ACGME website at The data tables and figures provided in this year's edition have been expanded and include these sections: Program Accreditation, Program Characteristics, Resident Characteristics, Graduating Residents and Residents Leaving Prior to Completion, Sponsoring Institutions, Participating Sites, Program Directors and Faculty, and Program Activities.