#ACGME2024: Building Community in Global GME from Learning, Sharing, and Discussing

Some of the highlights from the 2024 ACGME Annual Educational Conference came from the educational sessions curated by ACGME International (ACGME-I), which this year focused on community at various levels, from creating new connections internationally to strengthen global GME to deepening the relationships among the institutions and programs accredited by ACGME-I. The conference took place in Orlando, Florida, US on 7-9 March 2024, with participation from attendees representing more than 20 countries across the globe. Read the full conference overview here.

The first day of the conference focused on the Full-Day Courses. During “Insights into the Accreditation Process: A Course for Program Directors,” ACGME-I Executive Director Lorraine Lewis, EdD, led a special session on new program applications for ACGME-I accreditation. Together with Judith D. Rubin, MD, MPH, an Accreditation Field Representative, the session walked attendees through the entire application process, offering useful tips for program directors.

Building a Global Community to Strengthen GME

Hosted in partnership with ACGME Global Services, the session “International PGME Partnerships to Support Training Physicians into the Future” was designed to initiate conversations with different stakeholders on how to build community within global GME.

ACGME-I President and Chief Executive Officer James A. Arrighi, MD reminded attendees that the world is getting smaller in the medical education space, noting there is opportunity to build community and meaningful partnerships. ACGME Chief Financial and Administrative Officer and ACGME Global Services Executive Vice President John Ogunkeye, MS echoed Dr. Arrighi’s sentiments, adding that no system can exist in isolation.

Discussing examples of how global GME cooperation has worked so far, Lisa Bellini, MD, the senior vice dean for academic affairs at the University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine, chronicled her institution’s relationship with VinUniversity in Vietnam, sharing to the process of building a structure from scratch to achieve ACGME-I accreditation in only a few years.

Director of Global Professional Education at St. Jude Childrens’ Research Hospital Daniel Moreira, MD, MEd also shared an example of how St. Jude helped to develop Unidad Nacional de Oncología Pediátrica (UNOP) in Guatemala, where there was no institution focusing on pediatric oncology, and to create an ACGME-I-accredited program that acts as a training hub, where they have graduated residents from 10 countries in the region.

Punctuating the session and underscoring the theme of global community, Deputy Executive Director of Academic & Training Affairs at King Faisal Specialist Hospital & Research Center Ali Alishehri, MBBS provided a thoughtful explanation of why the well-established Saudi institution decided to pursue ACGME-I accreditation and increased global partnerships.

Building Community Within the ACGME-I Family

As ACGME-I continues to build community across its accredited Sponsoring Institutions and programs, one important area of focus was discussed in the session, “The Clinical Learning Environment in the Global ACGME International Community.” Dr. Arrighi said the community was “enthusiastic” in wanting to engage, so ACGME-I was looking to break new ground with an initiative partnering with the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME)’s Clinical Learning Environment Review (CLER) Program.

ACGME Chief Sponsoring Institutions and Clinical Learning Environments Officer Kevin B. Weiss, MD, MPH discussed evolving the CLER Program to an international venue. ACGME Senior Vice President, CLER Robin Wagner, RN, MHSA added that this initiative is intended to stimulate conversation toward improvement.

Designated institutional officials (DIOs) from two ACGME-I-accredited Sponsoring Institutions also shared their journey to accreditation, as well as their desire to see continued growth of accredited institutions and programs to expand the ACGME-I community. Federico Antillón-Klussmann, MD, PhD from UNOP in Guatemala spoke about transforming pediatric oncology in that country and the region, while Salah Zeineldine, MD, FACP from the American University in Lebanon discussed how her institution has integrated residents into key processes.

Volunteers in Action

In the third of the ACGME-I-curated educational sessions, “Update on International Accreditation from the ACGME-I Team,” the audience heard primarily from the Chairs of the two Review Committees-International, Sophia Archuleta, MD and Salahddin A. Gehani, MBBCh, MSc, FRCS, who discussed the work of the voluntary body of peer reviewers.

ACGME-I Associate Executive Director William Hart discussed the annual review of programs, highlighting results analyzed from data gathered from accredited programs. “The goals of the system are to help high-performing programs be free to innovate and improve [and for] the programs that need our attention [to] get that attention,” explained Mr. Hart. ACGME-I staff members also discussed other updates related to accreditation activities, as well as future initiatives.

A Plethora of Content for GME Professionals

Aside from the ACGME-I-curated educational sessions, the robust conference agenda offered numerous options focusing on areas ranging from well-being to linguistics in residency. Sessions on popular, of-the-moment topics, such as generative AI and the practical management of GME programs, were well-attended, as were unique sessions discussing the role of GME in care of the disabled and visual abstracts in medical education.

A team from Dubai led a session on “Emphasizing Transparency in the Residency Admission Process – A Holistic Approach in Dubai,” giving many US attendees an opportunity to learn how others around the world tackle this challenge. The session “An Assessment Regional Hub Learning Community – What Could Work for You?” brought together a panel of global experts to discuss how to promote such learning communities.

The Calls for Sessions and Abstracts for the 2025 ACGME Annual Educational Conference, scheduled for 20-22 February 2025 in Nashville, Tennessee, US, will open in the coming months. We hope you will plan to submit and join us there!