Intealth today announced plans for the initial implementation of its global medical school accreditation initiative, the Recognized Accreditation Policy. Beginning in 2024, Intealth will report when a medical school has satisfied the requirements of the Policy, achieving “recognized accreditation” status.
Medical school accreditation is vitally important to ensuring the quality of medical education and, ultimately, patient care. This Policy aims to stimulate accreditation efforts worldwide and to promote global standards for the evaluation of undergraduate medical education. Reporting of a school’s recognized accreditation status will provide valuable information to current and future medical students, U.S. residency/fellowship program directors, medical regulatory authorities, and others around the world.
The medical school accreditation initiative was announced in 2010, when ECFMG®, a member of Intealth, instituted recognized accreditation status as a future requirement for ECFMG Certification of international medical graduates (IMGs). For a medical school to achieve recognized accreditation status, the accrediting agency of the school must itself be reviewed and recognized by an external quality assurance organization. This quality assurance organization, in turn, must be reviewed and approved by ECFMG. Only medical schools accredited by an agency that is recognized by an organization approved by ECFMG will satisfy the requirements of the Recognized Accreditation Policy.
“In 2024, we will begin to realize the benefits of more than a decade of intense activity and accomplishment,” said William W. Pinsky, MD, CEO of Intealth and President of ECFMG. “The Recognized Accreditation Policy supports our steadfast commitments — to assure the U.S. public that IMGs, who provide supervised patient care while training, are ready to do so, and to ensure that directors of U.S. training programs have a properly qualified IMG applicant pool from which to choose their trainees.”
Since its announcement in 2010, the initiative has catalyzed global accreditation efforts. A significant number of accrediting agencies around the world have achieved recognition, enabling the medical schools they accredit to achieve recognized accreditation status. Additional accrediting agencies are in the process of seeking recognition.
At the same time, global events have disrupted key aspects of the recognition of accrediting agencies and the accreditation of medical schools by those agencies. The timeline and other key aspects of initial implementation announced today recognize the continued impacts of COVID-19 and global conflicts. When the Recognized Accreditation Policy is initially implemented in 2024, it will be in a way that continues to promote the importance of medical school accreditation by a recognized agency and will not impede an individual’s eligibility for ECFMG Certification.
“Intealth and its members are strong advocates for IMGs and their essential contributions,” Dr. Pinsky added. “As we continue to develop our future plans for implementation of the Recognized Accreditation Policy, we will balance the need to maintain the momentum of this initiative with our ongoing commitment to IMGs to support their aspirations to further their careers.”
For schools that achieve recognized accreditation status, this status will be reported beginning in 2024 in the school’s listing in the World Directory of Medical Schools . ECFMG also will work with the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) to include this information in the status reports provided to the Electronic Residency Application Service® (ERAS®) for individuals seeking to obtain U.S. graduate medical education positions in the 2025 Main Residency Match®.
Further details on the Recognized Accreditation Policy are available on the ECFMG website at www.ecfmg.org/accreditation .
Through its program of certification, ECFMG, a member of Intealth, assesses whether IMGs are ready to enter residency or fellowship programs in the United States that are accredited by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME). Each year, more than 7,000 IMGs enter first-year residency programs in the United States, where they receive medical specialty training and provide essential health care services to U.S. patients. About 25% of all physicians in training and practice in the United States are IMGs.
Intealth – Advancing the Global Health Workforce
Intealth brings together the expertise and resources that advance quality in health care education worldwide in order to improve health care for all. Through strategic integration of its nonprofit members, ECFMG and FAIMER®, Intealth offers a flexible and multi-layered portfolio of services. These services enhance and support the education and training of health care professionals, verify their qualifications required to practice, and inform the development of health workforce policies around the world. By leveraging these combined competencies of its members, Intealth powers innovation in areas critical to the health professions.