Medical School Accreditation Requirement for ECFMG Certification
Starting in 2023, applicants for ECFMG Certification must be from a medical school that is appropriately accredited. More specifically, the school must be accredited by an accrediting agency that is officially recognized by the World Federation for Medical Education (WFME).
The 2023 Medical School Accreditation Requirement was established by ECFMG in 2010 to stimulate international accreditation efforts and enhance the quality of medical education worldwide. The requirement is intended to encourage the development and implementation of standards for evaluating undergraduate medical education, to provide greater assurance to both medical students and the public that they will be appropriately trained.
Further information is available below, and additional details will be published in the coming months. Applicants and other interested individuals are encouraged to check this section frequently for updates. For a direct link, use www.ecfmg.org/accreditation.
Four-Phase Implementation Plan
Since the announcement in 2010, ECFMG has developed a transition plan for the implementation of the 2023 Accreditation Requirement. This four-phase plan will provide medical students, graduate medical education (GME) program directors, and others with information to guide their decision making.
Phase 1 – 2018: New ECFMG web resource to help students make better decisions on medical school selection
- Guidance for students on selecting a medical school.
- Link to accrediting agencies recognized by WFME.
- Visit the new resource at www.ecfmg.org/medschoolselection.
Phase 2 – 2020: World Directory of Medical Schools includes accreditation status of medical school
- Medical schools that are accredited by an organization recognized by WFME will be annotated in the World Directory of Medical Schools (www.wdoms.org).
Phase 3 – 2021: ECFMG reports include information on accreditation status of medical school
- ECFMG physician reports to GME programs, employers, state boards, and medical regulatory authorities will include a statement on the accreditation status of the medical school. For example, “This medical school was accredited in [Year] by an organization recognized by WFME.”
Phase 4 – 2023: Eligibility for ECFMG Certification is tied to accreditation status of medical school
- Individuals will be eligible to apply for ECFMG Certification if their medical school is accredited by an organization recognized by WFME.
WFME Recognition Programme
The WFME Recognition Programme (www.wfme.org/accreditation/recognition-programme/) is the only program accepted by ECFMG at this time for the recognition of medical school accrediting agencies. WFME’s recognition criteria, based on guidelines developed by the World Health Organization and WFME, provide flexibility for the development of accreditation standards that fit the context of a country’s medical education system, while also ensuring that the schools being accredited by the agency meet rigorous quality measures.
To view countries served by accrediting agencies that are recognized or in the process of achieving recognition, see this map: www.wfme.org/accreditation/accrediting-agencies-status/.
With 2023 approaching, ECFMG encourages accrediting agencies to visit the WFME website at www.wfme.org to review the recognition criteria and begin the recognition process. Questions regarding the WFME Recognition Programme may be directed to firstname.lastname@example.org.
More Information to Come
ECFMG is committed to keeping all of our stakeholders informed as we move forward with the 2023 Accreditation Requirement. Further details will be published in the coming months at www.ecfmg.org/accreditation. Specific questions regarding the 2023 Accreditation Requirement may be sent to email@example.com.
Read Past Progress Updates
- Process for Recognition of Medical School Accrediting Agencies Now Available
(February 13, 2015)
- Two Milestones Reached in 2012 in Development of System for International Accreditation
(March 13, 2013)
- Pilot Advances ECFMG’s Efforts to Stimulate International Accreditation (July 5, 2012)
Read the 2010 Press Release
- ECFMG to Require Medical School Accreditation for International Medical School Graduates Seeking Certification Beginning in 2023 (September 21, 2010)
Read the Background Document
- Requiring Medical School Accreditation for ECFMG Certification—Moving Accreditation Forward (September 21, 2010)