Program Director Tools

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Action items:

Please send your comments to the ACOS and or AOA as soon as possible.

Please review the Core Competency changes, the Basic Requirements in Neurological Surgery changes and send comments to the ACOS.

Please review the Proposal to Accept Non-Osteopathic Graduates into Residency Programs, Requirements for Board Certification, and CME changes and send your comments to the AOA.


July 1, 2008: First Year Training Requirements can be found below


Hospitals, with the approval of the local OPTI, and the permission of the ACOS and AOA appoint the Neurosurgical Residency Program Director. The program director is responsible for assuring that the training program is in compliance with the special requirements for residency training in osteopathic neurological surgery as conducted and supervised by the AOA/ACOS/OPTI/institution.


Each neurosurgery residency program includes a board certified (AOA/ACGME/ABNS) program director who has at least three years of clinical neurosurgical experience. There is also at least one other participating faculty that is either board certified of board eligible. One faculty member must be AOA certified or eligible in neurological surgery, the other faculty member must be board eligible in neurological surgery. Each neurological surgery faculty member must perform a minimum of 50 major neurological surgery procedures per year in the teaching institution.


The program director has a demanding position that includes the following duties:


·Attend required educational programs sponsored by AOA/ACOS/OPTI/Institution for the development of program directors

·Be available to the Neurosurgical Residents and have medical privileges at base and affiliate institutions

·Establishes written educational goals and objectives of the residency training program.

·Designs the residency training program to meet the stated goals and objectives.

·Regularly, at least quarterly, evaluates the residency training program to assess its ability to achieve stated goals and objectives.

·Develops and maintains a written plan of rotation to participating institutions and approves educational conference/activity schedules.

·Monitors resident schedules to assure appropriate mix of patient care and educational activities and to avoid undue stress and fatigue among residents.

·Monitors residents’ emotional well-being and recommends counseling services as required.

·Recruits qualified teaching staff at each participating institution.

·Assures that residents are adequately supervised by the teaching staff to facilitate resident education and to promote quality patient care.

·Develops criteria for evaluating resident performance and monitors the evaluation process. Meets with each resident quarterly to review performance. Recommends and oversees remedial training as necessary.

·Implements procedures for discipline and the adjudication of complaints and grievances as per AOA/ACOS and departmental policies.

·Complies and maintains statistical and narrative descriptions of the program.

·Communicates actively with the participating attendings, to review theirs and the program’s success at meeting stated program goals and the effectiveness of the overall program.

·Notifies the AOA/ACOS/OPTI/Institution in writing of any major changes to the residency training program and receives committee approval before implementing such changes.

·Additionally, the program director will oversee the educational activities at each of the participating institutions.

·Participate on the Graduate Medical Education Committee

·Participate in recruiting and selecting new candidates

·Ensures that residents on rotation at the institution are adequately supervised.

·Arranges attending coverage for resident clinics at the institutions.

·Supervises the activities of neurological surgeons in relation to resident education in the institution.

·Compiles statistical reports (logs), using formats specified by the AOA/ACOS, summarizing clinical activity performed at the institution.

·Participate in on-site program reviews

·Monitors performance of the resident(s) on rotation at the institution.

·Recommend satisfactory program completion of Neurosurgical Residents.

·Jointly administer specialty and emphasis track programs with respective program directors.

·Provide Neurosurgical Residents with all documents pertaining to the training program, Neurosurgical Resident requirements and expectations.

·Submit reports to the DME and annual reports to ACOS.

·Participate in developing the Institutional Core Competency Plan and support education and evaluation in each competency to each Neurosurgical Resident.

·Attends Program Advisory Committee meetings on a regular basis.

·Complies with established AOA/ACOS/OPTI/Institution policies governing resident and medical student education.


The program director is responsible for the residency program, the education of the resident, and the advancement or retention of the resident for each academic year. The program director ensures that the residency program conforms to the AOA, ACOS, Neurosurgical Discipline (NSD) guidelines and curriculum. Program director who fails to conform to the Standards, may be removed by the AOA/ACOS/OPTI/Institution, based upon the recommendations of the ACOS and NSD and, after notification and hearing.


The program director provides for the annual “Standardized In-Service Exam”, which is given the first week in March. The program director also ensure that all neurosurgical residents are entered into the AOA “TIVRA” system each year.


Program Director Annual Evaluation of Resident


Program Site Visit Manual and Workbook


Program Director Forms


Requirements for Program Directors


First Year Training Requirements- Effective July 1, 2008


In July 2008, the PGY-1/OGME-1R became part of the existing General Surgery, Neurological Surgery and Urological Surgery Residency Training Programs.  At most institutions this has been a seamless transition.  The Surgical Residency Program Directors have worked with DMEs and GME offices to effect this transition.


The expectation from the ACOS RESC is that the DME will oversee the training of the first year trainee in conjunction with the program director.  DMEs and program directors will monitor and evaluate the rotations and training of the OGME-1R resident.  There is no requirement for OGME-1R residents to complete a scholarly activity or to maintain surgical "oplogs".  It is the prerogative of the program and the resident to decide if they would like to utilize the surgical resident "oplog" system.  Paperwork previously in place for first year trainees will still be maintained by the GME office and be subject to review at the time of the programs’ site visit for continuing approval.


In addition to the evaluations of the trainee after each rotation maintained on site, the surgery program director will provide the ACOS with a quarterly, electronic evaluation of the OGME-1R trainee within thirty days of the end of the quarter (quarters ending September 30, December 31, March 31, and July 31).  DME’s have been directed by the AOA to provide all OGME-1R residents with a letter of completion for the first year of training.  (A template for that letter has been provided to the institutions for their use.)  A copy of the completion letter and Quarterly Report for the 4th Quarter will be provided to the ACOS within 30 days (July 31st) of program completion to evidence completion of the program.  The ACOS will notify the AOA of the satisfactory completion of the first year of residency training.


Your first Quarterly Reports are due in the ACOS office by October 31st.  If you have any questions or need additional guidance, call the ACOS.


First Year logs, Quarterly Reports to print out and FAX, or electronic report to download, fill out and e-mail, and AOA memo about first year PROCEDURAL logs which as stated above, is not required but may be helpful, can be found here.


Important memo from ACOS May 2008 which also contains the following Neurosurgery First Year ROTATION GUIDELINES.




The first year of the residency program for general surgery, urological surgery, and neurological surgery must include the following rotations.  These rotations may be scheduled as 12 one-month rotations or 13 four-week rotations or any combination thereof.  These requirements may be altered at the discretion of the program director, with the approval of the sponsoring institution’s GME committee, director of medical education, and the RESC, which will best serve the experience of the resident.  Program’s not complying with these OGME-1R requirements must provide their actual rotation schedule to the RESC and a rationale for any variance.


1. Rotations for ½ day per week, for 46 weeks, in a surgical out-patient clinic or office.

2. Two months of general internal medicine

3. One month of ICU

4. One month of emergency medicine

5. Four months of general surgery

6. Four months of Selectives to include any of the following areas:

a. Urology                                

b. Orthopedics                         

c. Anesthesia                             

d. ENT                        

e. General Surgery                     

f. Vascular Surgery

g. Neurosurgery

h. Cardiovascular Thoracic Surgery

i. Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery

j. Radiology

k. one month of female reproductive medicine

    l. one month of pediatrics, if available, or other primary care specialty, at the discretion of the training institution

The first year of training has been changed. It is now considered the first year of Neurosurgery. Please read the new AOA Basic Standards- "ACCREDITATION DOCUMENT FOR OSTEOPATHIC POSTDOCTORAL TRAINING INSTITUTIONS AND THE BASIC DOCUMENT FOR POSTDOCTORAL TRAINING PROGRAMS" at:


The changes effective July 1, 2008 can be found in Red. The section dealing with first year training can be found in section IV.


Completion of the First Neurosurgical Training Year

When the resident completes the first year of Neurosurgical training, the resident must be provided with a letter from the DME- please see below.


Four states (Florida, Michigan, Oklahoma and Pennsylvania) which require an AOA-approved OGME- 1 year for licensure have informed the AOA that their respective licensing boards require a letter of OGME-1 completion before entering into OGME-2. Trainees participating in an Option 1 specialty are entering directly into a

residency program will not be provided with a separate OGME-1 certificate. Therefore, DMEs for Option 1 programs should issue a standard letter to each Option-1 trainee upon successfully completing his/her OGME-1 year. In addition, the OPTI should be copied on each letter to Option-1 trainees.

Suggested Letter Format

To whom it may concern:

This letter is to verify that (JOHN DOE), D.O. successfully completed all requirements of an American Osteopathic

Association (AOA) approved OGME-1 year at (OSTEOPATHIC INSTITUTION). The program dates for Doctor


If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me at (PHONE NUMBER)





As a reminder, each OPTI must confer completion certificates for each postgraduate trainee in its programs as noted in the AOA Basic Standards Article I, B 1.14 “Each OPTI shall jointly confer, with its partner institution(s), certificates of completion on those interns and residents who have satisfactorily completed the requirements for graduation.”


Summary Clarification:

Review of Option I, II, and III OGME –I completion documents

1. Option I: trainees enter residency programs in the first year. DME’s will complete the letter according to COPT template for licensure verification purposes. No

program complete certificates will be issued by either the DME or the OPTI for the OGME-IR year. The OPTI must issue a completion certificate at the end of the full residency program.


2. Option II: trainees enter residency programs that require a preliminary year. The OPTI must issue a completion certificate for Option II OGME-IP year.


3. Option III: Residencies are not offered through the match, a candidate must apply. The OPTI must issue a completion certificate for Option III OGME-I year.