October 01, 2010

Requirements for ECFMG certification - what happens to IMGs in 2023

ECFMG® has announced that, effective in 2023, physicians applying for ECFMG Certification will be required to graduate from a medical school that has been appropriately accredited.

To satisfy this requirement, the physician’s medical school must be accredited through a formal process 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 those put forth by the World Federation for Medical Education (WFME).

Recognizing, however, that the efficacy of such a requirement depends on a universally accepted accreditation process, which does not currently exist, this requirement is not scheduled to take effect until 2023.

ECFMG’s Board believes that this additional requirement for ECFMG Certification, and the timing of its implementation, will stimulate the development of a meaningful, universally accepted system of accreditation for undergraduate medical education outside the United States and Canada.

In the United States, international medical graduates (IMGs) comprise one-quarter of the physician workforce. Through its program of IMG certification, ECFMG assesses whether these physicians are ready to enter U.S. graduate medical education.

ECFMG Certification is also one of the eligibility requirements for IMGs to take Step 3 of the United States Medical Licensing Examination® (USMLE®) and to obtain an unrestricted license to practice medicine in the United States.

In short, the ability to achieve ECFMG Certification is a key determinant of IMGs’ readiness to enter the U.S. health care system. ECFMG’s decision to require medical school accreditation as a requirement for IMGs seeking ECFMG Certification is a significant step in its continuing efforts to enhance protection of the public.

This obviously means that prospective International Medical Students should be looking for a medical school that is accredited by these institutes mentioned above to attend such, otherwise they won't be able to take USMLE exams and/or be ECFMG certified.

If you are a current medical student, I suggest you let your dean's office be aware of this important news. The link for the official announcement is here http://www.ecfmg.org/accreditation

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