FAIMER’s Directory of Organizations that Recognize/Accredit Medical Schools (DORA) is an online resource that provides information on the organizations typically responsible for establishing national standards for medical education and accrediting medical schools in their countries. The directory currently lists accreditation authorities in more than 100 countries, and includes details on duration and levels of accreditation, evaluation standards and processes, and links to specific regulatory agencies. DORA has been recently updated to reflect recognition by the World Federation for Medical Education (WFME) Programme for Recognition of Accreditation Agencies. This recognition by WFME does not imply that all medical schools operating in this country are currently accredited by the agency. Users should refer to the accrediting agency directly for information regarding the accreditation status of specific medical schools.
The WFME recognition program was designed to provide a transparent and rigorous method of ensuring that the accreditation of medical schools is held to a high, internationally accepted standard. Since the program’s inception, seven agencies have successfully undergone the process and been recognized by WFME, and approximately 20 applications from other agencies are currently in progress. For more information on the WFME recognition program, click here.
FAIMER has begun to receive information from international medical schools that will allow it to enhance its web-based resources on international medical education. Included is information about each school’s student body, application requirements, medical curriculum, and teaching methods. This information will provide a more detailed picture of international medical schools and their graduates, allowing FAIMER to expand data resources, such as the International Medical Education Directory (IMED), and to further its research on international medical education programs.
International medical schools are providing this information as part of an agreement with the Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates (ECFMG®). According to the agreement, schools that provide such information will be able to obtain from ECFMG aggregate data on the performance of their students/graduates on Step 1, Step 2 Clinical Knowledge (CK), and Step 2 Clinical Skills (CS) of the United States Medical Licensing Examination® (USMLE®). International medical schools have expressed interest in obtaining USMLE performance data on their students/graduates, and it is expected that this exchange of information will benefit the medical schools, ECFMG, and FAIMER. FAIMER research staff are partnering with ECFMG to collect the medical school information via a Medical School Profile survey.
Eligible schools will be able to obtain aggregate USMLE performance data beginning in May 2010. Schools wishing to receive these data must meet certain criteria, including the completion of a Performance Information Agreement and the Medical School Profile survey.
FAIMER’s newest data resource, the Postgraduate Medical Education (PME) Project, is now available on the FAIMER website. Developed in partnership with the European Medical Association (EMA), the PME Project is a web-based directory describing postgraduate medical education programs worldwide. It provides information, at the country level, on formal medical education and clinical training beyond the basic medical school curriculum, including the duration of studies, trainee selection processes, specialty curricula and licensing authorities, areas of specialization, and regulations regarding specialty education and licensure/certification. The PME Project is intended to be a resource for those who want to learn about postgraduate medical education internationally. It will be especially valuable to those who wish to evaluate, compare, and contrast postgraduate training programs among countries. To learn more about FAIMER’s data resources, please visit our Data Resources page.
The Global Health Delivery Project and electronic medical information provider UpToDate are offering a new grant subscription program to qualifying clinicians and organizations. A limited number of complimentary, one-year subscriptions to UpToDate, a leading evidence-based and peer-reviewed clinical information resource, will be awarded in two rounds in February and May 2010.
The internationally focused grant program extends eligibility to individuals and organizations that provide medical care or related services to poor or underserved populations outside the United States. The deadlines for application are January 25 and May 3, 2010, respectively.
The directory of International Opportunities in Medical Education (IOME), a joint project of FAIMER and the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC), is now available in a searchable format. Launched in 2007, IOME contains information about international opportunities for medical students, residents, and faculty. This resource was created based on the responses to a survey administered by FAIMER and AAMC. In February 2009, IOME was enlarged to allow users to search for records by school name, type of opportunity, and geographic location. This directory is freely available on the FAIMER website. To search IOME, please visit http://iome.faimer.org.
At the direction of the World Health Organization (WHO) and in partnership with the World Federation for Medical Education, FAIMER, and other international organizations, the University of Copenhagen is building an electronic directory that will be a successor to WHO’s World Directory of Medical Schools. This new resource has been named the Avicenna Directories, after the 11th century physician-philosopher ibn Sina. The goal of the Avicenna Directories is to provide “an up-to-date, accessible, electronic world list of education institutions for health professions” including details about their educational programs, resources, quality assurance, and contact information. FAIMER is a member of the International Advisory Committee for the Avicenna Directories. To support this endeavor, FAIMER and the University of Copenhagen have agreed to share health professions education data between their respective directories. As a result, this agreement enriches both the International Medical Education Directory (IMED) and the Avicenna Directories.
In early 2007, a new resource will be available on the FAIMER website. A Postgraduate Medical Education Directory (PMED) will provide information on formal medical education beyond the basic medical school curriculum on a country by country basis.
For each country, the directory will provide:
A narrative overview of PME,
listings of the medical and surgical specialties and subspecialties,
the duration of training, and
the number of training programs and positions available.
There will also be information regarding:
oversight of training programs,
methods of application and selection, and
examinations leading to registration, certification, and/or licensure.
Other categories of data will also be provided, including:
listings and links to professional medical, educational, and oversight organizations, and
articles and references regarding PME.
The directory should provide valuable information to a variety of users. Medical educators can compare PME in their country with other countries around the world, assessing equivalency of training. Data in the directory could serve as a stimulus for refinement or implementation of elements of PME based on models in place in other countries. Researchers and policymakers in the area of medical workforce could also find this information quite useful. Students and junior doctors seeking particular specialty training could determine where training is available and gain knowledge of the admissions and selection processes.
Compilation of all this information is a work in progress and will continue to be so once PMED is available.
FAIMER continues to seek individuals to contribute to PMED. To provide the kind of data and information that will appear in PMED, contributors must have broad knowledge of PME at the national level within their country. Individuals who believe that they may have the appropriate knowledge of PME in their country can actually participate in this effort right now by using this link to complete an on‑line survey. This survey data will be reviewed and, once verified, added to the growing database.
There is a special need for individuals who can provide narrative descriptions of their country’s PME. If you feel that you could help in this area, contact the PMED developers at firstname.lastname@example.org.