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Medical School Accreditation Requirement for ECFMG Certification

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 did not exist at the time of the announcement, this requirement is not scheduled to take effect until 2023. Since ECFMG’s announcement, a process for recognizing the agencies that accredit medical schools has been developed. This process will allow medical schools accredited by recognized agencies, and their graduates, to meet ECFMG’s accreditation requirement. To learn more, read the February 13, 2015 progress update below.

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.

Additional information on this requirement will be posted to this page as it becomes available.

Read the Progress Updates

Read the Press Release

Read the Background Document

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