Journal Notes: A Place for the ACGME in the Journal of Graduate Medical Education

September 22, 2022

The August 2022 issue of the Journal of Graduate Medical Education (JGME) features two articles that explore the work of the ACGME and its Review Committees. The first focuses on the journey and outcomes of an expansive revision of the Program Requirements for Family Medicine. The second reports on an initiative of the Education Committee of the ACGME Board of Directors—the Program Directors Patient Safety and Quality Educators Network—that aims to help program directors develop, model, and evaluate resident and fellow engagement in patient safety and quality improvement.

These articles are unique in JGME, appearing in the ACGME News and Views section of the journal, a special section that has been part of JGME since its inception in 2009. Unlike the rest of each issue, the decision to publish in this section is made by the ACGME. The journal makes this important distinction because, while JGME is part of the ACGME, it is also editorially independent. This means that outside of ACGME News and Views, the decision of what to publish rests with the independent JGME Editorial Board, following peer review. The ACGME is not involved in and does not influence those editorial decisions.

So, what does ACGME News and Views have to offer and how is it different? Primarily it provides a place where the ACGME can report, with sufficient detail, on its various initiatives and other news of interest to the graduate medical education (GME) community. Also, while other JGME articles fall into specific categories with strict requirements (e.g., Original Research, Educational Innovation, Perspectives), News and Views articles have more flexibility. They can include data reports, updates, and other perspectives from the ACGME or the Review and/or Recogntion Committees. The articles are not peer reviewed, but they go far beyond the level of news updates and web announcements.

Examples include a recent report that discusses the GME Stakeholders Congress on Preparing Residents and Fellows to Manage Pain and Substance Use Disorder, which was convened by the ACGME. Another explores a national issue with implications for the ACGME’s work: changes to the rules for Medicare- and Medicaid-funded residency positions and changes to rural track training programs. These articles might not fit the parameters of Original Research or Perspectives, but in the ACGME News and Views section, such important developments in GME can be explored with the detail they require. The Clinical Learning Environment Review (CLER) Program is one of many ACGME programs and initiatives that has found an opportunity through this section. Its most recent report on the CLER Pursuing Excellence Pathway Innovators’ work in designing an interprofessional clinical learning environment is the fifth in a series of articles on the ACGME’s Pursuing Excellence in Clinical Learning Environment Programs initiative, and an article by Dr. Thomas J. Nasca and Dr. Kevin B. Weiss discusses the CLER National Report of Findings 2021. Similarly, the ACGME’s Field Activities division had an opportunity to report on their transition from road warriors to Zoom masters as the COVID-19 pandemic forced a dramatic shift to remote site visits.

In the upcoming October 2022, ACGME News and Views will feature insights gained from an interactive session at the 2022 Annual Educational Conference on using storytelling and written reflection as tools to foster meaning and connection in GME. Doing a search on the JGME website and clicking on Article Type “News” will also pull up past articles for review. JGME is open access, and all published content is free to view.

Guest blogger Kevin Gladish is an editorial associate on the staff of the Journal of Graduate Medical Education. He’s been at the ACGME since 2016, and is also a performer, writer, and storyteller.