American College of Physicians Named GRADE Center, the First U.S. Organization to Receive Designation

Recognizes the College’s work and rigorous processes for developing clinical guidelines

BOSTON April 18, 2024 – The American College of Physicians (ACP) announced today that it has received the designation of a GRADE (Grading of Recommendations Assessment, Development and Evaluation) Center, and is the only U.S. organization to receive the designation. The designation recognizes ACP’s leadership and rigorous processes for developing clinical guidelines and recommendations; the announcement came today at a press briefing held at the Boston Convention and Exhibition Center during ACP’s Internal Medicine Meeting 2024.

Participants in the press briefing included: Eileen Barrett, M.D., MACP, Chair of the ACP Board of Regents; Amir Qaseem, M.D., Ph.D., MHA, MRCP (London), FACP, Chief Science Officer and Senior VP, Clinical Policy; Carolyn J. Crandall, M.D., M.S., MACP, Chair of the Clinical Guidelines Committee and Professor of Medicine at University of California, Los Angeles; and Holger Schünemann, M.D., Ph.D., MSc, FRCPC, Co-Chair and Co-Founder of the GRADE Guidance Group and Professor of Public Health and Preventive Medicine at Humanitas University, Italy.

At the briefing, ACP leaders discussed the new GRADE designation and the importance of transparent processes and methodologies for developing trustworthy, evidence-based clinical guidelines and ultimately helping in the care of patients. 

Dr. Barrett noted that GRADE is the gold standard for guideline development. The center designation recognizes ACP’s commitment to provide physicians with recommendations based on the best available evidence to help them deliver the best possible health care to their patients.

Dr. Qaseem spoke about the long history of ACP’s clinical guidelines program—as the oldest guidelines program in the U.S., ACP has been developing clinical guidelines for nearly half a century. ACP was an early adopter of GRADE, having published its first guideline using GRADE in 2007. He elaborated on how ACP had to demonstrate dedication and capacity to teach, train, and use GRADE in the development of high-quality systematic reviews and guidelines, in addition to contribute toward advancing GRADE science and methods. 

Dr. Crandall, as the current chair of ACP’s Clinical Guidelines Committee, spoke about how ACP had earned the designation through its rigorous approach to developing evidence-based clinical guidelines and that it reflected ACP’s commitment to excellence. She added that GRADE’s system is important as the framework makes judgments about evidence transparent, which makes the end results trustworthy, and how she sees this latest recognition for the ACP guidelines program impacting the work of the committee moving forward.

Dr. Schünemann discussed GRADE, which was founded in 2000 as an informal collaboration of people with an interest in addressing the shortcomings of grading systems in health care. GRADE has since become the standard and is used by more than 120 organizations from 19 countries around the world. A GRADE center serves as the primary hub within the region for GRADE related questions and for support and collaboration opportunities. The mission of GRADE centers is to help the GRADE working group in the training, promotion, dissemination and implementation of GRADE.

He added that GRADE values its relationship with ACP and looks to continue what has been a long-standing and productive relationship.

“This designation recognizes the work and reputation of the American College of Physicians and speaks to its work of producing high-value clinical guidelines and a formal recognition of the stringent protocols in its development of those guidelines,” said Dr. Barrett.


About the American College of Physicians

The American College of Physicians is the largest medical specialty organization in the United States with members in more than 145 countries worldwide. ACP membership includes 161,000 internal medicine physicians, related subspecialists, and medical students. Internal medicine physicians are specialists who apply scientific knowledge and clinical expertise to the diagnosis, treatment, and compassionate care of adults across the spectrum from health to complex illness. Follow ACP on X, Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn.

Media Contact: Andrew Hachadorian,, 215-351-2514