OET@Home Available in August on Limited Basis

OET@Home, a version of the Occupational English Test (OET) Medicine that can be taken at home through remote proctoring, is available to certain Pathways applicants for test dates in August. OET@Home is available only to applicants who do not have a physical test venue (for paper-based or computer-based testing) in their country. Applicants with a test venue in their country should plan to take OET on paper or OET on computer at a physical test center to ensure that they test in time to meet Pathways requirements for participation in the National Resident Matching Program® (NRMP®) 2022 Main Residency Match® (The Match®). Please  visit Test Dates and Locations on the OET website to determine whether there is a test venue in your country.

Eligible applicants can book OET@Home now on the OET website. If you have questions regarding OET@Home, please contact OET.

About the Pathways

The 2022 Pathways allow qualified international medical graduates (IMGs) who have not passed the former Step 2 Clinical Skills (CS) component of the United States Medical Licensing Examination® (USMLE®) to meet the clinical and communication skills requirements for ECFMG Certification and for participation in the 2022 Match. A satisfactory score on OET Medicine is required for IMGs applying to a 2022 Pathway. To meet ECFMG’s requirements, applicants must attain a minimum score of 350 (Grade B) on each of the four measured sub-tests of OET Medicine (Listening, Reading, Writing, and Speaking) in one test administration. Applicants must take OET Medicine on or before the last scheduled test date in December 2021. See the ECFMG website for more information.

ECFMG|FAIMER Named Best Place to Work in Greater Philadelphia

The Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates | Foundation for Advancement of International Medical Education and Research (ECFMG®|FAIMER®) has been named a Best Place to Work in the Greater Philadelphia Region for 2021 by the Philadelphia Business Journal.

Best Places to Work logoECFMG|FAIMER President and CEO William W. Pinsky, MD said the organization, which serves global communities of health professions providers, educators, regulators, and researchers, had to pivot several times over the past year to address the challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic, and ECFMG|FAIMER employees responded.

“I am proud of this honor, especially after such a challenging year,” said Dr. Pinsky. “Our employees rose to the occasion and faced these challenges with a high level of dedication, resilience, and innovation. I am grateful for the team we have here at ECFMG|FAIMER.”

Employees from each nominated company were asked to complete an online survey administered by Quantum Workplace that takes into consideration compensation, benefits, and trust in senior leadership. Responses from each completed survey were compiled and evaluated, companies were ranked, and winners were chosen in each size category by their composite score. The 2021 list includes 66 companies from around the region. ECFMG|FAIMER is recognized in the large companies category (100-499 employees).

Call for Nominations to ECFMG|FAIMER Board of Trustees

The Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates (ECFMG®) and the Foundation for Advancement of International Medical Education and Research (FAIMER®) invite nominations to fill four positions on their combined Board of Trustees. The deadline for nominations is Wednesday, August 25, 2021.

BACKGROUND

ECFMG|FAIMER promotes quality medical education and health care worldwide—serving physicians, members of the medical education and regulatory communities, health care consumers, and researchers. A non-profit organization based in Philadelphia, ECFMG|FAIMER is a leading expert on the world’s medical education systems and their graduates, the authenticity of physician credentials, the assessment of physicians, and physician immigration and migration. Through its program of certification, ECFMG|FAIMER assesses the readiness of international medical graduates to enter U.S. graduate medical education and licensure.

ECFMG|FAIMER Board members come from a wide range of backgrounds and are leaders in the fields they serve. These include academic medicine, hospital administration, health law and policy, business, community health, patient advocacy, immigration, philanthropy, and other disciplines. All Board members are volunteers who serve a four-year term with potential re-election to one additional term. Through their service, Board members have a global impact by shaping the future strategy and direction of ECFMG|FAIMER.

NOMINATIONS

ECFMG|FAIMER seeks highly motivated individuals who are committed to advancing ECFMG|FAIMER’s mission. Candidates should demonstrate a capacity for organizational decision making through prior board experience or similar activities, and a dedication to the highest professional and personal ethics.

ECFMG|FAIMER is committed to a diverse Board that reflects the many constituencies it serves, including but not limited to diversity in gender, race, ethnicity, age, and professional background. ECFMG|FAIMER is particularly interested in recruiting individuals who can serve as public members.

  • Interested individuals should submit a current curriculum vitae (CV) or resume, along with a cover letter briefly describing their interest in the position and relevant qualifications.
  • To recommend an individual for consideration, please submit a current CV or resume for the individual, along with a cover letter briefly describing the individual’s relevant qualifications and your relationship to the nominee.
  • All materials must be submitted to Christine Shiffer, Manager, Regulatory Affairs and Governance, at cshiffer@ecfmg.org by Wednesday, August 25, 2021.
  • Upon review, certain candidates will be selected to provide additional information. The ECFMG|FAIMER Governance Committee will review all nominees and provide a recommendation to the full Board of Trustees. A final decision will occur in early December 2021. New members will be required to attend an orientation in early 2022.

BOARD MEMBER RESPONSIBILITIES

  • Board members accept programmatic and fiduciary responsibility for ECFMG and FAIMER.
  • Board members are expected to review and abide by the bylaws of ECFMG and FAIMER and the Board operational policies and procedures.
  • Board members are required to report all conflicts of interest.
  • Board members are encouraged to support the philanthropic efforts of FAIMER and make an annual gift to the organization (of any amount).
  • Board members are expected to prepare for and engage in three in-person Board meetings per year, as well as virtual committee meetings for the committees on which they serve. Members must possess the interest, commitment, and time as needed to devote to Board meetings, committee assignments, appeal hearings, fundraising events, and other work of the Board.

Additional Information on Pathway 6 Is Available

Prospective Pathway 6 Applicants Should Begin to Identify Evaluators Now

Additional information is now available on applying to Pathway 6, which requires an applicant’s clinical skills to be evaluated by licensed physicians through in-person clinical encounters. This new information includes criteria for both the physician evaluators and for the clinical encounters. If you plan to apply to Pathway 6, you should review this information and begin to identify your physician evaluators now. There also is new information on the availability of the on-line application for Pathway 6, now scheduled for August; application deadlines; and application processing times.

About the Pathways
The 2022 Pathways allow qualified international medical graduates who have not passed the Step 2 Clinical Skills (CS) component of the United States Medical Licensing Examination® (USMLE®) to meet the clinical and communication skills requirements for ECFMG Certification and for participation in the National Resident Matching Program® (NRMP®) 2022 Main Residency Match® (The Match®). Pathway 6 is for applicants who do not meet the eligibility requirements for Pathway 1, 2, 3, 4, or 5 and/or have failed Step 2 CS one or more times.

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.

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.