Graduate Medical Education


The Self-Study and Program Aims


The Self-Study

The self-study is an objective, comprehensive evaluation of the residency or fellowship program, with the aim of improving it. Underlying the self-study is a longitudinal evaluation of the program and its learning environment, facilitated through sequential annual program evaluations that focus on the required components, with an emphasis on program strengths and “self-identified” areas for improvement (“self-identified” is used to distinguish this dimension of the self-study from areas for improvement the Review Committee identifies during accreditation reviews).


Timeline  Under Construction


Steps in the Self-Study Process


1. Assemble the self-study group

2. Engage program leaders and constituents in a discussion of program aims

3. Examine opportunities and threats

4. Aggregate and analyze data to generate a longitudinal assessment of the program’s improvement

5. Obtain stakeholder input

6. Interpret the data and aggregate the self-study findings

7. Discuss the findings with stakeholders

8. Develop a succinct self-study document for use in further program improvement and as documentation for the program’s 10-year site visit


Program Description and Aims

Program aims are a new dimension for the Self-Study. They offer added context for a program’s  improvement efforts by focusing on program and institutional leaders’ key expectations for the program, and are elicited through responses to the question, ‘‘What types of residents is the program educating; what are their future roles and practice settings?’’ Aims may focus on some or all of these dimensions: types of trainees accepted into the program, training for particular career options (clinical practice, academics, research, primary/ generalist care), and added objectives, such as care for underserved patients, health policy or advocacy, population health, or generating new knowledge.


The specific questions related to program aims to be answered at the time of the Self-Study:


Describe the program and its aims, using information gathered during the self-study.


Question 1: Program description

Provide a brief description of your residency/fellowship program, as you would to an applicant or a prospective faculty member. Discuss any notable information about this program. (Maximum 250 words)

Question 2: Program aims

Based on information gathered and discussed during the self-study, what are the program’s aims? (Maximum 150 words)

Question 3: Program activities to advance the aims

Describe current activities that have been or are being initiated to promote or further these aims. (Maximum 250 words)



Article "A Practical Guide to the ACGME Self-Study"