Residency

Tip of the week: Keep your program letters of agreements up to date

Residency Program Insider, March 11, 2008

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The ACGME requires every residency program to have a program letter of agreement (PLA) with its participating institution or the entities involved in resident education. The institution and its programs must review and renew or terminate PLAs at least every five years. You also need to modify your PLA anytime there is a major change to your program. Although institutions must have up-to-date forms available during an institutional review, it is often up to the program directors and coordinators to keep the PLA for their program current. With so many programs to keep track of, it is helpful to create a database that identifies important information and dates in the agreements. Sample fields for the database include:

  • Name of the participating institution
  • Participating institutions' accreditation status
  • Name of the program and service on which the resident is rotating
  • Program's accreditation status
  • Date the agreement is initiated
  • Durations of the agreement
  • Renewal dates of the agreement, if continuous
  • Program or service requesting the agreement

Additionally, it may be beneficial to review agreements two times each year:

  • During each program's internal review
  • When programs submit resident's rotation schedules for the academic year

For more information on PLAs, see HCPro, Inc.'s Insider's Guide to the ACGME Institutional Review by Josephine R. Fowler, MD, MS, FAAFP, available here.



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