Understanding the Recognitions

When you choose to study MBBS abroad, you must verify a lot of things before making your decision. You might have seen a lot of foreign medical universities flashing their recognition, accreditation, and affiliation in bold. One might wonder what these flashy acronyms imply for you. Therefore, let’s try to understand some very renowned recognitions and their implications in your medical studies.

Keeping in the eagles view of medical universities and that too abroad, few bodies all over the world are responsible for ensuring the quality as well as the validity of the provided education and degree.

1. Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates (ECFMG)

ECFMG is a US-based organization responsible for promoting, maintaining, developing, and training quality healthcare professionals and services.

Established in 1956, ECFMG is a private, non-profit organization, headquartered in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA, whose approved programs for the medical education community and promote quality in medical education worldwide.

The US Department of Education defines ECFMG as “the authorized credential body of evaluation and guidance agency for non-U.S. physicians and graduates of non-U.S. medical schools who seek to practice in the United States or apply for a U.S. medical residency program. It provides comprehensive information and resources on licensure, the U.S. Medical Licensure Examination (USMLE) for residencies, and recognition.”

It acts as a center of registration and score reporting to the US screening exam for foreign medical graduates.

2. Foundation for Advancement of International Medical Education and Research (FAIMER)

FAIMER, a subsidiary of ECFMG, is a non-profit foundation responsible for improving world health through education and thus is responsible for undergraduate medical training specifically in Asian and Latin American countries. Established in 2000, FAIMER in the unanimous partnership with ECFMG promotes excellence in international health professions and education

There are 3 areas of health governance described as faculty development, targeted research and development of data advances, educational quality, and workforce improvement by the FAIMER.

Therefore, if you have a degree from a medical university certified by the ECFMG and FAIMER, you would be eligible to practice and study in countries like the USA and Canada after qualifying for the USMLE.

The United States Medical Licensing Examination (USMLE) is a three-step examination program for medical licensure in the United States that aims to assess the physician’s ability to apply knowledge, concepts, principles, and essential patient-centered skills important in health along with diseases that constitute the basis of safe and effective patient care
. Know how to crack USMLE.

3. World Federation for Medical Education (WFME)

World Federation for Medical Education (WFME) is another non-governmental organisation based in the USA for the education and training of doctors all over the world. It aims to enhance the quality of medical education worldwide, by promoting the highest scientific and ethical standards in medical education”. The organisation is responsible for developing standards for medical education as well as promoting worldwide accreditation of medical schools.

It is currently an active member of 3 major projects i.e, creation of global standards for quality improvement, ranking and listing of medical universities in WDOMS, and the Recognition of Accreditation.

WFME Recognition Programme aims to ensure that accreditation of medical schools in the world is at an internationally accepted standard. WFME awards recognition status to the accrediting agencies that apply and is assessed to be up to the agreed standard.

News Update-

ECFMG recently published a press release stating that students applying for ECFMG Certification after 2023 will be required to have graduated from a medical school that has been “appropriately accredited by an agency that uses criteria comparable to those established for U.S. medical schools by the Liaison Committee on Medical Education (LCME) or that uses other globally accepted criteria, such as WFMEs”.

4. World Directory of Medical Schools (WDOMS)

The World Directory of Medical Schools (WDOMS) is a public database of institutions that provide medical education. Over 3,400 medical schools are listed in the directory. The directory is published with the collaboration of a joint database of WFME and FAIMER.

WDOMS defines a “medical school” as an “educational institution that provides a complete or full program of instruction leading to basic medical qualification; that is, a qualification that permits the holder to obtain a license to practice as a medical doctor or physician”.

Check the mention and the rank of your favourite medical university abroad here.

5. Medical Councils

Most of the countries around the world have established their medical council which is responsible for accrediting and standardizing the medical training specifically for that country.

For example, if you have studied at a medical university of Germany recognised by the Medical Council of Australia, you would be eligible to sit in the screening exam to study or practice in Australia.

In the case of India, the Medical Council of India has been recently renamed to the National Medical Commission and is responsible for setting up the criteria of medical training and practice in India

When you chalk out your university for medical study abroad, remember to look for these bodies to ensure the validity and liability of the medical degree you would earn in the coming years, as they would be responsible for ensuring you your desired future.

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