By mid-2015, the Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates (ECFMG®) will use the World Directory of Medical Schools in determining the eligibility of its applicants for the United States Medical Licensing Examination® (USMLE®) and for ECFMG Certification. ECFMG will begin to use the World Directory when it is fully operational. Until such time, ECFMG continues to use IMED for this purpose.
The World Directory combines the data in FAIMER’s IMED with the data in the Avicenna Directory of the World Federation for Medical Education (WFME). The combined directory offers a more comprehensive listing of the world’s medical schools and enhanced information in areas such as enrollment and curricula.
About ECFMG eligibility requirements for medical schools
In order for a medical school’s students and graduates to be eligible to apply to ECFMG for examination and for ECFMG Certification, the school must be recognized by the appropriate agency in the country where the school is located. IMED lists medical schools recognized by the appropriate agency in the country where the school is located.
The mission of the new World Directory is broader—to list all medical schools in the world. As a result, the World Directory includes medical schools that do not meet ECFMG’s eligibility requirements. International medical students and graduates who wish to apply to ECFMG for examination and for ECFMG Certification will need to consult the World Directory, as described below, to determine if their school meets ECFMG eligibility requirements.
Determining ECFMG eligibility using the World Directory
The World Directory is sponsored by a number of organizations, including ECFMG. These sponsoring organizations may provide information for display in the directory. The information that ECFMG will provide will include whether the school meets ECFMG eligibility requirements. When the World Directory becomes fully operational, this information will be available on a “Sponsor tab” in the school’s World Directory listing.
To determine whether their medical school meets eligibility requirements for them to apply to ECFMG for examination and for ECFMG Certification, international medical students and graduates will need to consult the Sponsor tab for that school. If, after the World Directory becomes fully operational, a school’s listing does not include information about ECFMG eligibility on the Sponsor tab, students and graduates of that medical school will not be eligible to apply to ECFMG for examination or for ECFMG Certification.
The merger of the two directories does not impact whether a school meets ECFMG’s requirements for its students and graduates to be eligible to apply to ECFMG for examination and for ECFMG Certification. Schools that are recognized and listed in IMED will be listed in the fully operational World Directory as schools whose students and graduates are eligible to apply to ECFMG for examination and for ECFMG Certification. (To be eligible, medical students and graduates must meet all eligibility requirements as detailed in the ECFMG Information Booklet.)
Medical students and graduates cannot use the World Directory to determine their school’s eligibility until the World Directory becomes fully operational, which is expected by mid-2015. These individuals should continue to use IMED until further notice and should monitor the ECFMG website for updates.
About the World Directory of Medical Schools
The World Directory is a joint venture of WFME and FAIMER, in collaboration with the World Health Organization and the University of Copenhagen. An agreement to form the World Directory by combining the data in WFME’s Avicenna Directory and FAIMER’s IMED was finalized in March 2012. WFME and FAIMER have been working together since that time to create the new directory and launched an initial version in April 2014. FAIMER and WFME expect the World Directory to be fully operational by mid-2015.
The World Directory is sponsored by a number of organizations, including ECFMG, that work with WFME and FAIMER in the development of the directory, and contribute to the decision-making process about criteria for inclusion of medical schools in the directory, core data to be collected on each school, presentation of the data, and management of the directory. School listings in the World Directory are updated and added appropriately as new information becomes available. For more information, visit the World Directory website at www.wdoms.org.
(posted December 16, 2014; updated June 30, 2015)