ECFMG|FAIMER Recognized for Most Outstanding Article

The Editorial Committee of the Journal of Medical Regulation, published by the Federation of State Medical Boards (FSMB), selected an ECFMG|FAIMER-authored article as the recipient of the 2021 Ray L. Casterline Award for Excellence in Writing. The award recognizes outstanding scholarly articles exploring issues of relevance to the state medical board community and the practice of medical regulation.

Christine D. Shiffer
Christine D. Shiffer

ECFMG|FAIMER Regulatory Affairs Manager Christine D. Shiffer was the primary author of the article titled Advancing the Quality of Medical Education Worldwide: ECFMG’s 2023 Medical School Accreditation Requirement. ECFMG|FAIMER President and CEO William W. Pinsky, MD, former Vice President for Research and Data Resources John Boulet, PhD, and former Senior Vice President for Business Development and Operations Lisa L. Cover co-authored the article. It was published in the December 2019 issue of the Journal of Medical Regulation. The award was presented on April 29 during the FSMB’s 2021 Annual Meeting.

The article explains the history of ECFMG Certification, the proliferation of medical schools worldwide, and the need to stimulate accreditation efforts and to improve the quality of medical education globally.  These efforts have led to ECFMG|FAIMER’s 2024 Medical School Accreditation Requirement.

“Christine is the primary author of the article. Accreditation of medical schools is important to the future of medical education globally, as well as a contributing factor to improving the delivery of quality health care,” Dr. Pinsky said. “Her straightforward approach to explain the history, necessity, and goals of the requirement really comes through in the article. She is very deserving of this writing honor.”

The Ray L. Casterline Award for Excellence in Writing is named for Ray L. Casterline, MD, who served ECFMG from 1973 through 1988 in a number of leadership roles, including Executive Director.

Update: Pathways for ECFMG Certification for 2022 Match

Detailed Information, On-line Application for Pathways 1-5 Now Available

The 2022 Pathways application process for Pathways 1-5 is now open. Qualified international medical graduates (IMGs) who need to meet the clinical and communication skills requirements for ECFMG® Certification and who intend to participate in the 2022 National Resident Matching Program® (NRMP®) Main Residency Match® (The Match®) can apply to a Pathway to meet these requirements for ECFMG Certification and the requirements for Match participation.

The information available on ECFMG’s website includes:

As announced previously, ECFMG|FAIMER has added a sixth Pathway for 2022. The application process for Pathway 6 is expected to open in July. Preliminary information on Pathway 6 is available now, and additional details and instructions for meeting the requirements for Pathway 6 will be provided as soon as they are available. Please monitor the ECFMG website for the steps that applicants can take before July to prepare for Pathway 6.

Recognition of Non-Standard Training for Exchange Visitor (J-1) Physicians to Transition to the ACGME

Today, the Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates (ECFMG®), American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS®), and Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME®) announced a change in the process for recognition of non-standard training as it relates to the J-1 visa program administered by ECFMG. The term “non-standard training” refers to advanced clinical subspecialty disciplines or pathways for which there is no ACGME accreditation and/or ABMS Member Board certification available. Currently, all non-standard disciplines must be endorsed by an appropriate ABMS Member Board to be considered for J-1 sponsorship. The role of the ABMS Member Boards in providing this approval is detailed in federal regulation 22 CFR §62.27(e)(4)(i).

While the ABMS and its Member Boards have historically played a role in recognizing non-standard disciplines, ABMS initiated discussions several years ago with ECFMG about relinquishing that role. The rationale is that oversight of non-standard training does not fit with the mission of the ABMS and its Member Boards, which are responsible for certification of individuals; and, as such, the Member Boards are not structured to provide oversight of training programs and institutions. It was the consensus of the two organizations that the ACGME, as the primary national accreditor of graduate medical education programs and the institutions that sponsor them, is well suited to provide recognition of Sponsoring Institutions offering non-standard training opportunities to exchange visitor (J-1) physicians. At the request of the ECFMG and ABMS, the ACGME agreed to assume this responsibility. The ECFMG, ABMS, and ACGME jointly submitted a proposal to the United States Department of State (DOS) to substitute Sponsoring Institution “recognition” by the ACGME for the current ABMS endorsement role, with a transition period during which either organization’s recognition process may be honored based on criteria currently being developed. With publication of a Federal Register Notice on April 19, 2021, the DOS officially acknowledges the administrative change proposed by the ECFMG, ABMS, and ACGME.

Under the new model, the ACGME will offer recognition of Sponsoring Institutions that offer non-standard training programs for exchange visitor physicians. This recognition has been designed to ensure that institutions are providing appropriate oversight of the non-standard training program(s) they offer. The ACGME will not recognize individual non-standard training programs. A working group has been formed to develop Recognition Requirements and, upon ACGME Board approval of those Requirements, a new Recognition Committee will be formed to review and monitor institutions seeking to achieve and maintain this recognition.

Detailed information regarding the ACGME recognition process will be provided in the coming months, including notification when the proposed Recognition Requirements are posted on the ACGME website for a 45-day public comment period.

Questions regarding the release of the proposed Recognition Requirements should be directed to either Kathy Malloy, ACGME vice president, Accreditation Standards (312.755.5061 or kmalloy@acgme.org) or Tracy Wallowicz, assistant vice president, US Graduate Medical Education Services (215.823.2120 or twallowicz@ecfmg.org).

Questions regarding the recognition process should be directed to Paul Johnson, ACGME executive director, Institutional Accreditation (312.755.5005 or pjohnson@acgme.org).

Sincerely,

William W. Pinsky, MD, FAAP, FACC
President and Chief Executive Officer, ECFMG

Richard E. Hawkins, MD
President and Chief Executive Officer, ABMS

Thomas J. Nasca, MD, MACP
President and Chief Executive Officer, ACGME

Coalition for Physician Accountability Updates Recommendations on Away Rotations

On April 14, the Coalition for Physician Accountability released an update to its January 25, 2021 recommendations on medical student away rotations for the 2021-2022 academic year. The January and April 2021 recommendations are updates to earlier guidance published on May 11, 2020.

The Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates | Foundation for Advancement of International Medical Education and Research (ECFMG®|FAIMER®) is a member of the Coalition, which includes national organizations responsible for the oversight, education, and assessment of medical students and physicians throughout their medical careers.

The latest recommendations include the following:

  • Recommendation 1 (Unchanged): The work group recommends that for the remainder of the 2020-2021 academic year (ending June 30, 2021), away rotations should be discouraged, except under certain limited circumstances.
  • Recommendation 2 (New): The improved vaccination status of medical students led to the updated recommendation that for the 2021-2022 academic year, away rotations can resume during the first block concluding in July 2021, subject to specific guidelines and the latest CDC guidance. Programs may continue to offer virtual electives to provide opportunities for learners to explore the specialty and program.

ECFMG|FAIMER supports the Coalition’s recommendations, which are intended to add to, but not supersede, the independent judgment of a medical school, sponsoring institution, or residency program regarding the immediate needs of its patients and preparation of its learners.

ECFMG On-line Services Unavailable April 16-18

Due to scheduled maintenance, ECFMG’s on-line services are expected to be unavailable beginning at approximately 7:00 p.m. on Friday, April 16, 2021. Services are expected to be restored by 6:00 p.m. on Sunday, April 18, 2021. All times are calculated using Eastern Time in the United States.

During this maintenance period, you will be unable to access most ECFMG on-line services, including the following:

  • IWA—Interactive Web Applications
  • OASIS—On-line Applicant Status and Information System
  • Application for Pathways for ECFMG Certification for 2021 Match
  • EMSWP—ECFMG Medical School Web Portal, and its programs for medical schools and other institutions:
    • Status Verification
    • Credentials Verification
    • Performance Data
    • EMSWP ERAS
    • GEMxSM for Partner Institutions
  • CVS ON-LINE—Certification Verification Service On-line
  • EVNet—Exchange Visitor Network (for staff of U.S. training programs that host ECFMG-sponsored exchange visitor physicians)
  • EPICSM—Electronic Portfolio of International Credentials
    • Physician Portal
    • Report Portal
  • GEMx on-line services for students
  • MyECFMG mobile app

The World Directory of Medical Schools also will be unavailable during this maintenance period.

Thank you for your patience and cooperation as we work to maintain high-quality on-line services.

ECFMG On-line Services Unavailable March 19-21

Due to scheduled maintenance, ECFMG’s on-line services are expected to be unavailable beginning at approximately 7:00 p.m. on Friday, March 19, 2021. Services are expected to be restored by 6:00 p.m. on Sunday, March 21, 2021. All times are calculated using Eastern Time in the United States.

During this maintenance period, you will be unable to access most ECFMG on-line services, including the following:

  • IWA—Interactive Web Applications
  • OASIS—On-line Applicant Status and Information System
  • Application for Pathways for ECFMG Certification for 2021 Match
  • EMSWP—ECFMG Medical School Web Portal, and its programs for medical schools and other institutions:
    • Status Verification
    • Credentials Verification
    • Performance Data
    • EMSWP ERAS
    • GEMxSM for Partner Institutions
  • CVS ON-LINE—Certification Verification Service On-line
  • EVNet—Exchange Visitor Network (for staff of U.S. training programs that host ECFMG-sponsored exchange visitor physicians)
  • EPICSM—Electronic Portfolio of International Credentials
    • Physician Portal
    • Report Portal
  • GEMx on-line services for students
  • MyECFMG mobile app

The World Directory of Medical Schools also will be unavailable during this maintenance period.

Thank you for your patience and cooperation as we work to maintain high-quality on-line services.

ECFMG On-line Services Unavailable March 6-7

Due to scheduled maintenance, ECFMG’s on-line services are expected to be unavailable beginning at approximately 4:00 p.m. on Saturday, March 6, 2021. Services are expected to be restored by 8:00 p.m. on Sunday, March 7, 2021. All times are calculated using Eastern Time in the United States.

During this maintenance period, you will be unable to access most ECFMG on-line services, including the following:

  • IWA—Interactive Web Applications
  • OASIS—On-line Applicant Status and Information System
  • Application for Pathways for ECFMG Certification for 2021 Match
  • EMSWP—ECFMG Medical School Web Portal, and its programs for medical schools and other institutions:
    • Status Verification
    • Credentials Verification
    • Performance Data
    • EMSWP ERAS
    • GEMxSM for Partner Institutions
  • CVS ON-LINE—Certification Verification Service On-line
  • EVNet—Exchange Visitor Network (for staff of U.S. training programs that host ECFMG-sponsored exchange visitor physicians)
  • EPICSM—Electronic Portfolio of International Credentials
    • Physician Portal
    • Report Portal
  • GEMx on-line services for students
  • MyECFMG mobile app

The World Directory of Medical Schools also will be unavailable during this maintenance period.

Thank you for your patience and cooperation as we work to maintain high-quality on-line services.

Coalition for Physician Accountability Updates Recommendations on Away Rotations

The Coalition for Physician Accountability, of which ECFMG|FAIMER is a member, recently released updated recommendations on away rotations for medical education institutions of Liaison Committee on Medical Education (LCME)-accredited, U.S. Osteopathic, and non-U.S. medical school applicants for the 2020-21 and 2021-22 academic years. More information is available in the full report.

  • For the remainder of the 2020-21 academic year (ending June 30, 2021), as recommended in its May 2020 report, the working group recommends that away rotations be discouraged, except under certain circumstances.
  • For the 2021-22 academic year, the working group recommends that away rotations resume no earlier than August 1, 2021 and offers additional guidance.

ECFMG|FAIMER supports the Coalition’s recommendations, which are intended to add to, but not supersede, the independent judgment of a medical school, sponsoring institution, or residency program regarding the immediate needs of its patients and preparation of its learners.

ECFMG Closing in Observance of New Year’s Holiday

ECFMG will close in observance of the New Year’s holiday at 2:00 p.m., Eastern Time (ET), in the United States, on Thursday, December 31, 2020. We will be unavailable for calls and e-mails until we reopen at 9:00 a.m., ET, on Monday, January 4, 2021.

Please also note that ECFMG Applicant Information Services representatives will not be available by telephone at (215) 386-5900 on Thursday, December 31.