The American Council of Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) is responsible for credentialing medical and surgical residency and fellowship programs. No orthopedic surgeon is able to pursue board certification without ACGME approval of their residency program. Not all fellowships have achieved the status of ACGME-accreditation. Ask your orthopedic surgeon if they attended an ACGME-credentialed fellowship program.
The ACGME is independent, non-profit, and physician-led. The organization determines the professional educational standards, preparing physicians to deliver safe medical care to the American population. This credentialling ensures high-quality medical care is delivered by its trainees. Monitoring of these programs is done via regular site visits, ensuring the highest standard possible. As of 2018, there were approximately 830 ACGME-accredited institutions responsible for over 11,200 residency and fellowship programs in 180 different specialties.