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Medical Education
Graduate Medical Education

Annual Program Review

The ACGME requires programs to conduct a formal and structured evaluation of the curriculum at least annually. Details of this review are outlined in the ACGME Common Program Requirements.

The annual review must include consideration of whether the program’s self-determined benchmarks have been met in the following areas: resident performance; faculty development; graduate performance, including performance of program graduates on the certification examination; and, program quality. Action plans must be created to address areas in which goals have not been achieved, and the faculty at large must approve the plans of action. Goals that emerge from the annual program review one year become benchmarks for the review next year, closing the loop and facilitating the longitudinal and continuous improvement of program quality.

The Task Force recommends that sufficient time be set aside for a full discussion of the program’s progress and determination of the goals and action plan for the coming year. Programs should not underestimate the time and effort required to conduct a systematic review. Although the ACGME requirements can be met by conducting the annual meeting of faculty and resident representatives, many programs prefer a dedicated half-day retreat for this comprehensive review.

Several challenges emerge for conducting a robust annual program review. Implementing the Evaluation Task Force recommendations for ACGME competency assessment will yield resident performance data for each of the evaluation tools. Other required components include evaluations of faculty teaching and confidential evaluations of the program by residents and faculty. These data can be summarized in a progress report along with other program performance measures. The report can compare the program’s outcomes to goals set from the prior year.

In this section we provide recommendations on assessment of faculty teaching, program evaluations by resident and faculty, and methods for selecting and reporting data essential to include in the annual program review.