Residency

Ask the expert: What is the difference between ’must’ and ’should’ statements in the program requirements?

Residency Program Insider, January 19, 2010

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When reading any of the ACGME’s requirements (institutional, common program, or specialty), the two most crucial terms to understand are must and should. Must statements or requirements are mandatory and must be done without fail. Requirements that use this term are absolute. Should statements or requirements are so important to the clinical specialty that you must justify to the ACGME why you’re not meeting them. Not adhering to these will most likely result in citations against the program.

Read through all of the requirements and not which statements and requirements are musts and which are should. Easily differentiate between these two terms by highlighting all must statements in one color and all should statements in another.

This week’s question and answer are adapted from The Complete Residency Program Management Guide, by Ruth H. Nawotniak, C-TAGME, published by HCPro, Inc.



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