A Time for Change and a Time for Celebration: PM Designations with ACGME and PH/GPM Residency Program SAP Match 

A TIME FOR CHANGE: As many are aware, the Board of Directors of the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) recently approved the request of the American Board of Preventive Medicine (ABPM), American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine (ACOEM) and Aerospace Medical Association (AsMA) for separate designations for each of the three preventive medicine specialties of aerospace medicine (AM), occupational medicine (OM) and public health and general preventive medicine (PH/GPM). 

As background, a few months ago, we were asked to join our sister societies to submit individual applications to the ACGME to separate the core specialties. The goal of this request was to enable each of our specialties to be listed individually on the website and enable the database set up to also inform the AMA and AAMC databases to make it easier for medical students to find occupational medicine and aerospace medicine. At that time, the ACPM Board of Regents vetted the option and decided to hold on submitting an application and to pursue a technical solution to individually list specialties that would not require separation. Last month, we were informed that ACGME decided to fast track the request to separate the societies, and the ACGME Board voted on this action 10 days ago.  

With this ACGME update, the specialties will be listed separately on the ACGME’s website. ACGME has noted that all three specialties will remain under a common review committee. ACPM supports increased visibility of all specialties in our discipline of preventive medicine because our strength is defined by the contributions of each specialty; we remain committed to the common thread that binds us through our dedication to prevention of disease and disability at the individual and population levels.  As a relatively small and critically important discipline, preventive medicine must continue building on our collective strengths and shared goals to address key clinical and public health challenges in the communities we serve, to advocate for training (and funding for) the next generation of preventive medicine physician leaders, and to ensure our discipline remains visible and relevant with a critical mass of board-certified preventive medicine physicians.

The proposed program requirements for aerospace medicine, occupational and environmental medicine and public health and general preventive medicine are now posted on the ACGME website for public review and comment. Please note that any individual or organization wishing to provide feedback must do so electronically through the form provided to the email address listed on the webpage.  This form also includes a field to provide feedback on the designation of the three specialties.  
The deadline to submit comments is March 30.  The comments will be reviewed at the June 2022 ACGME Board of Directors meeting, with a target effective date of July 1.

Because of the relevance of this initiative to our residency training programs in PH/GPM, we actively engaged our PH/GPM residency program directors in a call last week to hear their thoughts and to discuss the pathway forward. A follow up call is scheduled on March 11 to incorporate all comments and ensure our continued advocacy for cohesion and visibility of preventive medicine.  While separation of the specialties may have some risks, these may be outweighed by advantages of having individual listings on these web resources.  If this strategy increases the number of physicians selecting one of the core specialties in preventive medicine, then this would certainly be a win for all.    

A TIME FOR CELEBRATION:  We are also pleased to report the recent SAP success! Congratulations to the programs and the 61 medical students and applicants who have matched into PH/GPM residency programs. And, a very hearty “thank you” to Anita Balan on our team and Drs. Jim Tacci, Joe Iser, Rick Stahlhut and Keva Collier Kidemu for their leadership and tenacity to ensure a smooth, engaging and ethically sound process.  

As one of our members says, “count it all joy!”


Donna Grande, MGA           M. ‘Tonette’ Krousel-Wood MD, MSPH, FACPM

ACPM, CEO                        ACPM, President
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