ACGME Releases 2016-2017 Statistics on Graduate Medical Education Programs and Resident Physicians

28 September 2017

Today the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) released its 2016-2017 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.

ACGME Programs

Following steady growth in ACGME-accredited programs over the last decade, the 2016-2017 academic year showed the largest annual increase of programs to 10,672, up 6.5% from the previous academic year.

A total of 752 programs were newly accredited by the ACGME during the 2016-2017 academic year, with 380 more residency (specialty) programs, and 312 more fellowship (subspecialty) programs. For the second year in a row, the number of residency programs grew at a faster rate than fellowship programs (8.8% for residency programs from the 2015-2016 academic year vs. 5.6% for fellowships) largely due to the transition to a single GME accreditation system.

Of the newly-accredited ACGME programs, 331 (44.0%) are in medical specialties/subspecialties, 177 (23.5%) are in hospital-based specialties/subspecialties, and 244 (32.4%) are in surgical specialties/subspecialties.

Residents and Fellows

Of the total 129,720 active residents and fellows, a record total of 29,826 residents entered the pipeline in the 2016-2017 academic year, 1370 more pipeline entrants than the previous academic year. 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 programs.

"The record increase in residents entering pipeline programs is critically important to ensure that we are training physicians who meet the needs of patients," said ACGME CEO Thomas J. Nasca, MD, MACP. "Over the past 10 years (since 2006-2007) the number of pipeline residents has increased by 20%. Important in this growth is the work underway to transition to a single accreditation system, bringing together the allopathic and osteopathic GME communities, as well as other initiatives to expand primary care."

The full 2016-2017 Data Resource Book can be found on the ACGME website. The data tables and figures provided in this year's edition 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.