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New Residency Program Application Process
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Applying for a New Dermatology Residency Program requires several steps and can be a lengthy process.  The first step is to become affiliated with an OPTI (Osteopathic Postdoctoral Training Institution).

Recognizing the need for a new system to structure and accredit osteopathic graduate medical education, the American Osteopathic Association established the Osteopathic Postdoctoral Training Institution (OPTI) in 1995.

Each OPTI is a community-based training consortium comprised of at least one college of osteopathic medicine and one hospital. Other hospitals and ambulatory care facilities may also partner within an OPTI. Community-based healthcare facilities such as ambulatory care clinics, rehabilitation centers and surgicenters may now have the resources and support necessary to provide physician training with an OPTI's assistance.

OPTIs are recognized for providing a comprehensive, seamless model of education for physician training-from colleges of osteopathic medicine through graduate medical education programs and beyond. An OPTI adds value to medical training by assuring the osteopathic concepts of holism, wellness and prevention, caring for the patient's individual health needs, environment and ability to access quality health care.

The AOA Basic Document for Postdoctoral Training covers all of the requirements necessary for a successful training program.  The Basic Standards for Residency Training in Dermatology document also contains requirements specific to dermatology.

Submitting the Application: The application should include a brief cover letter and a table of contents with tabs or separator pages. Required documents should be organized in the same order as they appear in Section C of this document. The application may be submitted electronically or by regular mail directly to AOA with the OPTI officer signature OR directly from the OPTI.

  1. To submit an application electronically: Electronic applications must be bookmarked. Create a pdf from your document file(s) and add bookmarks before submitting. You can submit an electronic application through your OPTI via FileWorks. Please contact your OPTI Officer for details.
  2. To submit a paper application: Please do not use binders or staples. Submit one original and one copy of Section B-C of the application with all required documents to:

AOA Division of Postdoctoral Training
142 East Ontario Street
Chicago, IL 60611

Turn-around Time

From Application to Final Approval We recommend that you plan on the process taking at least four to six months. Specialties that require a pre-approval inspection may take six to nine months. Pre-approval inspections can be requested by any specialty college, and are routinely conducted for: Emergency Medicine, Obstetrics/Gynecology and Surgery. This can add two to three months to the application process, depending on inspector availability.  The AOCD requires a pre-approval inspection.

Incomplete applications are one primary reason for delays in approval recommendations. Applicants are notified by the AOA and/or by the specialty college when additional documents are needed, and  you are encouraged to respond to those in a timely manner.

For a complete list of forms associated with residency training programs visit the AOA's site for Postdoctoral Training.

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