Modern Healthcare Again Names ECFMG/FAIMER a Best Workplace

Philadelphia-Based Non-Profit Also Receives Family-Friendliest Workplace Award

For the second consecutive year, the Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates (ECFMG) and its Foundation for Advancement of International Medical Education and Research (FAIMER) have been selected by Modern Healthcare as a Best Place to Work in Healthcare. ECFMG/FAIMER also received the Family-Friendliest Workplace Award for the second year in a row, and was a finalist for the Healthiest Workplace Award.

The Best Places to Work in Healthcare program identifies and recognizes outstanding employers in the health care industry nationwide. Modern Healthcare partners with the Best Companies Group on the assessment process, which includes an extensive employee survey.

“Being recognized by Modern Healthcare as a best place to work nationally is a tremendous honor, especially because it is based on the feedback of our employees,” said William W. Pinsky, M.D., President and CEO of ECFMG and Board Chair of FAIMER. “This honor reflects the passion our employees have for ECFMG/FAIMER and our vision to improve world health through excellence in medical education.”

Modern Healthcare published a feature story on ECFMG/FAIMER as the recipient of the Family-Friendliest Workplace Award. The complete list of this year’s winners is available here. Modern Healthcare will publish a special supplement featuring ranked lists of all the winners with the October 1 issue.

In addition to the Modern Healthcare honor, ECFMG/FAIMER was recognized earlier this year as a Top Workplace in Philadelphia by the Philadelphia Media Network, publishers of the Philadelphia Inquirer and Daily News.

President of the Foundation for Advancement of International Medical Education and Research (FAIMER®) Announces Retirement

John NorciniJohn J. Norcini, Ph.D., President and CEO of the Foundation for Advancement of International Medical Education and Research (FAIMER®), has announced that he will retire effective July 1, 2019. Dr. Norcini became FAIMER’s first president in May 2002, and has established numerous worldwide initiatives and programs in medical education, research, and data resource development during his 16-year tenure.

William W. Pinsky, M.D., President and CEO of the Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates (ECFMG®) and Board Chair of FAIMER, said an international search for Dr. Norcini’s successor will begin immediately.

“John’s dedication to FAIMER’s mission, his energy, and his broad vision have positioned FAIMER as a leader in the promotion of excellence in international health professions education through programmatic and research activities,” Dr. Pinsky said. “ECFMG’s and FAIMER’s board, staff, and partners are proud to share in John’s legacy.”

Dr. Norcini played an instrumental role in the development of FAIMER’s fellowship programs for health professions educators that include the FAIMER Institute, FAIMER Regional Institutes, and the International Fellowship in Medical Education (IFME)–a program originally sponsored by ECFMG, which transitioned to FAIMER in 2001. He championed the alignment of these programs with each other to create an educational pathway that allows international health professions educators to become outstanding local resources for improving health professions education.

Under Dr. Norcini’s supervision, the FAIMER Distance Learning program has flourished, offering health professions educators the knowledge and skills to advance health professions education at their institutions to the highest international standards. Since 2013, he has served as Co-Director of the FAIMER-Keele Master’s in Health Professions Education: Accreditation and Assessment program, conducted in partnership with Keele University and the Centre for Medical Education in Context (CenMEDIC); and he serves as lead faculty for the newly launched FAIMER-Gulf Medical University joint Master in Health Professions Education program.

Dr. Norcini has overseen FAIMER research activities in the broad domains of the international migration of physicians, U.S. physician workforce issues, and international medical education programs. FAIMER also designs and conducts studies focused on international health professions education, including the quality of medical schools and their graduates, international accreditation, licensure, and certification processes. FAIMER frequently conducts these investigations in collaboration with other institutes and researchers, and aims to inform policy makers in government, academia, and various other interested organizations.

FAIMER has also made significant strides in achieving its goal of building information resources on medical education worldwide under Dr. Norcini’s leadership. He has overseen the development of the Directory of Organizations that Recognize/Accredit Medical Schools (DORA), directories of master’s and doctoral programs in health professions education, the Postgraduate Medical Education (PME) Project, and the World Directory of Medical Schools—a resource created and maintained in collaboration with the World Federation for Medical Education.

Dr. Norcini received several awards and honors, including the 2014 Karolinska Institutet Prize for Research in Medical Education for his pioneering research on knowledge decay, specialty certification, and the development of new methods of assessment. In 2009, he received the National Board of Medical Examiners (NBME) John P. Hubbard Award for his commitment to excellence in medical education, his rigorous pursuit of high standards in scholarship, his broad and prolific publications and presentations history, and his tireless work on behalf of FAIMER. Dr. Norcini’s accomplishments in the field of assessment are considered both wide-ranging and pioneering.

Dr. Norcini has served on the editorial boards of seven peer-reviewed journals in measurement and medical education, has lectured and taught in nearly 50 countries, and has published extensively. He has served on countless committees contributing to the fields of education, assessment, and research.

Before joining FAIMER, Dr. Norcini spent 25 years with the American Board of Internal Medicine serving as Director of Psychometrics, Executive Vice President for Evaluation and Research, and Executive Vice President of the Institute for Clinical Evaluation. He earned his bachelor’s degree from LaSalle University and his doctorate from Bryn Mawr College.

ECFMG and FAIMER Establish Office of General Counsel

Francine Halushka Katz, Esq., Joins ECFMG and FAIMER in New Role

The Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates (ECFMG) and its Foundation for Advancement of International Medical Education and Research (FAIMER) have established an Office of General Counsel. Francine Halushka Katz, Esq., has joined ECFMG and FAIMER in this new role, also serving as Senior Vice President and a member of the organizations’ executive team.

According to ECFMG President and FAIMER Board Chair William W. Pinsky, MD FAAP FACC, the organizations are engaged in a strategic expansion of the services they provide to global communities of physicians, patients, medical educators, medical regulators, and researchers. He said the General Counsel will facilitate that strategic growth by supporting diverse activities including contracts and collaborations, policy development, investigation and notification of fraudulent activity, and the development and stewardship of the organizations’ data and information resources.

“The General Counsel is a critical component of advancing our mission to improve world health,” said Dr. Pinsky. “The addition of Ms. Katz as in-house counsel and a member of our leadership team has strengthened our ability to provide leadership, enhance service to constituencies, and protect the public.”

Ms. Katz, a resident of Huntingdon Valley, PA, has extensive experience in the health care and life sciences sectors in both non-profit and for-profit environments. Before joining ECFMG in March 2018, she served as Vice President and General Counsel at Saint Peter’s University Hospital in New Brunswick, NJ, and later at St. Joseph’s Healthcare System in Paterson, NJ. She has also served as Senior Attorney with Axiom Law—Life Sciences Group, NY and has consulted for RWJ Barnabas Health, New Jersey’s largest health care system. She earned her Juris Doctor degree, with a concentration in Health Law, from Georgetown University Law Center and a Bachelor of Science degree in Public Relations from the University of Florida. She is a member of the American Health Lawyers Association and the Association of Corporate Counsel and is engaged in a number of civic and community service activities.

ECFMG Statement on Supreme Court Decision to Uphold Visa Restrictions in Presidential Proclamation

Today, the U.S. Supreme Court rendered its decision to uphold the visa restrictions in the Presidential Proclamation issued in September of last year. While the Court’s decision does not change the visa restrictions currently in force, it does represent the latest in a series of immigration developments that are shaping the environment in the United States, the environment that many from around the world, including talented health care professionals, aspire to join.

The Court’s decision comes just days before the traditional start of the academic year for U.S. programs of graduate medical education—those medical specialty and subspecialty training programs that transform medical school graduates into practicing physicians. Each year, thousands of foreign national physicians are selected for such training programs, and their qualifications are vetted thoroughly by the Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates. These physicians provide much-needed health care services, enrich the clinical learning environment with their international perspectives, and add diversity to the U.S. physician workforce.

In the United States, where one-quarter of our physicians have received their medical degree outside the United States and Canada, the ability to provide accessible, high-quality health care depends on our ability to continue to attract highly qualified physicians from around the world. Anything that disrupts the flow of these talented and qualified professionals into the United States will have a negative and potentially long-term impact on patient care.

We urge immigration policymakers to consider the many contributions that foreign national physicians make to our health care system and our economy, and to ensure that United States remains an attractive option for the best and brightest minds from around the world.

ECFMG and FAIMER Host Inaugural Stakeholder Engagement Forum

Meeting Series Enhances Partnerships and Perspectives

The Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates (ECFMG®) and its Foundation for Advancement of International Medical Education and Research (FAIMER®) have launched a new meeting series designed to strengthen partnerships and enhance the perspectives available to governance and staff. The inaugural Stakeholder Engagement Forum took place on Friday, April 6, in conjunction with the meeting of the Boards of ECFMG and FAIMER in Philadelphia. The ECFMG-FAIMER forums invite leaders in the fields of medical education, assessment, and regulation to share insights on issues of mutual interest as well as updates on their organizations’ activities.

Inaugural ECFMG-FAIMER Stakeholder Engagement Forum Guests
Inaugural ECFMG-FAIMER Stakeholder Engagement Forum Guests, from left: Richard Hawkins, MD, ABMS; Alison Whelan, MD, AAMC; Mellie Pouwels, MA, AMA; Scott Steingard, DO, FSMB

The first session in this series featured leaders from long-standing associates, including the American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS), American Medical Association (AMA), Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC), and the Federation of State Medical Boards (FSMB). For future sessions, ECFMG and FAIMER will extend invitations to new and potential partners. The Stakeholder Engagement Forums will be held twice annually in Philadelphia.

“It is vital that we stay connected with other organizations committed to quality medical education and health care,” said ECFMG President and FAIMER Board Chair William W. Pinsky, MD. “The forums create regular touchpoints to share ideas, challenges, and solutions.”

About ECFMG and FAIMER

ECFMG and FAIMER are private, nonprofit organizations based in Philadelphia in the United States. In partnership with each other and with other organizations around the world, ECFMG and FAIMER work to promote quality medical education and health care worldwide. ECFMG and FAIMER are leading experts on the world’s medical education systems and their graduates, the authenticity of physician credentials, the assessment of physicians, and research on physician migration and U.S. physician workforce issues. ECFMG and FAIMER offer programs and resources that serve global communities of medical educators and regulators; physicians and medical students; and those investigating issues in medical education, assessment, and health workforce planning. Learn more at www.ecfmg.org and www.faimer.org.

ECFMG and FAIMER Named 2018 Top Workplaces in the Delaware Valley

The Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates (ECFMG®) and its Foundation for Advancement of International Medical Education and Research (FAIMER®) have been recognized as Top Workplaces by the Philadelphia Media Network. ECFMG and FAIMER were among 125 companies to be honored at an awards ceremony last week. ECFMG and its foundation ranked 27th among 40 companies in the mid-sized category.

2018 Top Workplaces in the Delaware Valley
ECFMG and FAIMER leadership and staff attended the Top Workplaces award ceremony on March 14.

top workplacesWinners are based solely on employee feedback, gathered through third-party research partner Energage, LLC (formerly WorkplaceDynamics). The anonymous survey measures several aspects of workplace culture, including alignment, execution, and connection, to name just a few.

“I am thrilled that we are succeeding in creating a positive and engaging work experience for employees,” said ECFMG President and CEO, William W. Pinsky, MD (pictured, back row, second from left). “By investing in our employees, we are investing in our mission to promote quality health care around the world.”

About ECFMG and FAIMER

ECFMG and FAIMER are private, nonprofit organizations based in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, with a combined total of nearly 1,000 employees. In partnership with each other and with other organizations around the world, ECFMG and FAIMER work to promote quality health care worldwide. More information is available at www.ecfmg.org and www.faimer.org.

Established in 1956, ECFMG offers a variety of programs for the world’s physicians; medical educators; medical regulatory authorities; and other organizations that train, assess, and license physicians. Through its program of certification, ECFMG evaluates whether international medical graduates (IMGs) are qualified to enter U.S. programs of graduate medical education; one-quarter of physicians in training and practice in the United States are IMGs. ECFMG also is a world leader in the primary-source verification of medical credentials, a service that it offers at no cost to organizations worldwide.

Established by ECFMG in 2000, FAIMER offers educational programs for mid- to senior-level health professions educators around the world; conducts research on international medical education programs, IMGs, and the migration of physicians; and builds high-quality data resources that facilitate evaluation and research. In partnership with the World Federation for Medical Education, FAIMER has developed the World Directory of Medical Schools, a comprehensive resource on more than 3,000 medical schools worldwide.

ECFMG Joins National Academy of Medicine’s Action Collaborative on Clinician Well-Being and Resilience

ECFMG is pleased to be a part of the Action Collaborative on Clinician Well-Being and Resilience, a new initiative of the National Academy of Medicine (NAM) that includes more than 130 health care organizations around the globe. By joining the collaborative, ECFMG and the other member organizations are making a formal commitment to take actions that improve clinician well-being and reduce clinician burnout.

Every year, ECFMG sponsors more than 10,000 foreign national physicians in J-1 visa status to participate in U.S. clinical training programs. These residents and fellows face a number of challenges, including the stresses of living and working in a foreign country, in addition to the significant demands of their training programs. ECFMG and its Exchange Visitor Sponsorship Program (EVSP) are refining a number of initiatives to support these physicians and meet their unique needs.

To learn more, read ECFMG’s Commitment to Physician Well-Being and Resilience statement on the NAM website.

Medical Council of New Zealand and ECFMG Announce Partnership

ECFMG is pleased to announce that it is collaborating with the Medical Council of New Zealand (Council) to incorporate ECFMG’s Electronic Portfolio of International Credentials (EPIC) into the Council’s process for assessing international medical graduates (IMGs). Effective November 1, 2017, first-time applicants for medical registration, and (in some cases) doctors already registered with the Council but applying for a new scope of practice, are required to have their medical qualifications primary-source verified through EPIC if their application relies on a primary medical qualification from either an institution outside New Zealand or a postgraduate qualification conferred by an institution other than a New Zealand or Australasian training provider.

The Medical Council of New Zealand is charged with protecting the health and safety of New Zealand’s public. Registration with the Council is a requirement for all doctors who practice medicine in New Zealand. ECFMG is proud to partner with the Council to add primary-source verification—a best practice and the best protection against fraudulent credentials—to the Council’s tools for evaluating doctors’ qualifications.

Read the full press release.

ECFMG’s Electronic Portfolio of International Credentials (EPIC) Welcomes Turks and Caicos Islands Hospital

ECFMG is pleased to announce its partnership with Turks and Caicos Islands Hospital, InterHealth Canada (TCI Hospital) to incorporate ECFMG’s Electronic Portfolio of International Credentials (EPICSM) into TCI Hospital’s process for assessing the medical credentials of physicians seeking employment at the health care facility.

TCI Hospital is a Diamond-accredited public hospital managed by InterHealth Canada TCI Ltd on behalf of the Turks and Caicos Islands Government through a Public-Private Partnership agreement. The Hospital deemed its partnership with ECFMG to be necessary for the continued improvement of the health care facility’s recruitment process. ECFMG is proud to partner with TCI Hospital to enhance its recruitment process by adding primary-source verification—a best practice and the best protection against fraudulent credentials—to the Hospital’s tools for evaluating the qualifications of its physician applicants.

Read the full press release.

ECFMG Receives Top Awards for “Healthiest Workplace” and “Most Family-friendly Workplace” as Part of Modern Healthcare’s 2017 Best Places to Work in Healthcare

ECFMG is honored to have been selected as one of Modern Healthcare’s 2017 Best Places to Work in Healthcare. At a September 28 awards dinner held during its annual Workplace of the Future conference in Las Vegas, Modern Healthcare announced that ECFMG ranked first among healthcare suppliers in the special categories of “Healthiest Workplace” and “Most Family-friendly Workplace.”

In addition to considering the various benefits and training and development opportunities made available to employees, judges determined the winning workplaces based on employee survey responses.

“I’m pleased that Modern Healthcare has recognized ECFMG as one of the top healthcare workplaces, and even more pleased to know that ECFMG employees agree,” said ECFMG President and CEO, William W. Pinsky, MD.

Read the full press release.