An acute care general hospital may also be accredited to teach and be classified as a teaching hospital. Teaching hospitals provide medical education facilities and training to future healthcare professionals. Most teaching hospitals also serve as community or regional hospitals. A teaching and/or research hospital usually has many specialty units and is able to handle state medical disasters. Virginia has both formal and informal teaching hospitals and have earned regional and national recognition for:
Formal teaching facilities are usually those that are affiliated with an accredited undergraduate medical school or university and are structured and staffed to provide both an undergraduate and postgraduate accredited medical curriculum. Postgraduate accreditation of courses is through the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME.)
Typically, all teaching facilities - like almost all other acute care hospitals - are accredited by the Joint Commission on Accreditation for Healthcare Organizations (JCAHO.) Many teaching hospitals are also active in the Council of Teaching Hospitals and Health Systems (COTH) of the Association of American Medical Colleges.