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Graduate Medical Education

Graduate Medical Education (GME), often referred to as residency education, is the period didactic and clinical education in a medical specialty that follows the completion of a recognized undergraduate medical education and which prepares physicians for the independent practice of medicine in that specialty  

The length of residency training varies according to medical specialty. Residency programs are a minimum of three years for primary care and some medical specialties. Teaching hospitals coordinate training and funding. 

Learn more about the role of teaching hospitals, federal support for residency training, and the physician shortage from the Association of American Medical College's GME fact sheet.  

Foreign Medical Graduate Education
Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates (ECFMG) promotes quality health care for the public by certifying international medical graduates for entry into U.S. graduate medical education, and by participating in the evaluation and certification of other physicians and health care professionals nationally and internationally. In conjunction with its Foundation for Advancement of International Medical Education and Research (FAIMER), and other partners, it actively seeks opportunities to promote medical education through programmatic and research activities.

J-1 Visas

The Primary Care Office (PCO), located int he Office of Rural Health and Primary Care at the Mississippi State Department of Health, has been designated to serve as a State Contact and clearinghouse for the J-1 Visa Waiver Programs. Mississippi J-1 Visa Waiver Policies and Procedures for the Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) and Conrad State 30 Program are available. 

Available on-line are: 

The PCO administers the programs and provides technical assistance to all interested in developing either the site predetermination or actual application for placement of a foreign-trained J-1 Visa Waiver provider. 

Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME)
The Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) is a private professional organization responsible for the accreditation of about 9,500 residency education programs. Stake holders of the ACGME’s accreditation process are residency programs, their sponsoring institutions, residents, medical students, the specialty boards of the American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS), patients, payers, government and the general public.

Accreditation offers these stakeholders assurance that a given residency program and its sponsoring institutions meet an accepted set of education standards. The ACGME accredits residency programs in 140 specialty and subspecialty areas of medicine, including all programs leading to primary Board certification by the 24 member boards of the American Board of Medical Specialties.

GME Single Pathway Accreditation

In early 2014, the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME), the American Osteopathic Association (AOA), and the American Association of Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine (AACOM) approved an agreement to transition to a single accreditation system for graduate medical education (GME) by July 2020. The single accreditation system allows graduates of allopathic and osteopathic medical schools to complete their residency and/or fellowship education in Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education ACGME (accredited) programs and demonstrate achievement of common Milestones and competencies.