The Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates (ECFMG®) and FAIMER held their first Board meeting of the year April 3-5, which included a biannual Stakeholder Engagement Forum. The spring Forum convened representatives from the U.S. medical education, training, licensing, and immigration law communities to explore the impact of immigration issues on medical education and health care in the United States.
Invited guests included John E. Prescott, MD, Chief Academic Officer, and Matthew Shick, JD, Senior Director of Government Relations & Regulatory Affairs of the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC); Kimball Mohn, MD, Executive Director of the Association for Hospital Medical Education (AHME); Humayun Chaudhry, DO, President and CEO of the Federation of State Medical Boards (FSMB); and Kristen Harris, MA, JD, Partner of Harris Immigration Law. These guests joined ECFMG and FAIMER Board members during the half-day session on April 5 to identify and evaluate emerging trends and impacts at the intersection of U.S. immigration and health care.
“Immigration restrictions will have a profound impact on access to quality health care in the United States, and those effects will be felt first in the medical education and training communities,” said William W. Pinsky, MD, President and CEO of ECFMG and Board Chair of FAIMER. “It is essential that those involved in U.S. medical education and training collaborate to share information and to address issues that jeopardize an adequate and high-quality physician workforce.”
Held twice annually in Philadelphia, the Stakeholder Engagement Forums are designed to strengthen partnerships and enhance the perspectives available to ECFMG and FAIMER governance and staff.
The Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates (ECFMG®) has announced that it will expand its GEMxSM program beyond medicine to serve other health professions. Currently serving the international medical education community, GEMx is a global partnership that connects schools and other institutions around the world to offer students increased access to international educational exchange opportunities. Such opportunities can empower students with an international perspective to better meet the health care needs of an increasingly globalized world. Through expansion to other health professions—such as nursing, pharmacy, dentistry, and others—GEMx will promote greater interdisciplinary education and strengthen relationships across the health professions.
ECFMG employee Ryan Hall recently traveled to Johannesburg, South Africa, as a participant in the Temple University School of Media and Communication 2014 South Africa Study Away Program. Hall was one of 11 Temple students to complete the four-week program, which was set up as an elective course in foreign journalism to mark the 20th anniversary of the end of apartheid. Students spent the first two weeks of the course learning from local experts, who gave presentations and led them on various field trips aimed at enhancing their understanding of South African society. The second half of the course was devoted to individual research projects, and required students to conduct reporting and research in and around Johannesburg.
While in Johannesburg, Hall consulted with FAIMER faculty member and 2004 FAIMER Institute Fellow Francois Cilliers. Dr. Cilliers is an Associate Professor in the Education Development Unit at the University of Cape Town’s Faculty of Health Sciences in Cape Town, South Africa, and is a core faculty member of the Sub-Saharan Africa-FAIMER Regional Institute (SAFRI). Hall’s information-gathering interviews with Dr. Cilliers resulted in a featurethat was published in the Philadelphia Daily News on August 17, 2014
On July 1, 2009, N. Emmanuel G. Cassimatis, M.D., became President and Chief Executive Officer of the Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates (ECFMG). In this role, Dr. Cassimatis also serves as Chair of FAIMER’s Board of Directors.
Before joining ECFMG and FAIMER, Dr. Cassimatis had been with the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences (USU) in Bethesda, Maryland since 1995, serving most recently as Vice President for Affiliations and International Affairs. He was also Associate Dean for Clinical Affairs and Professor of Psychiatry at the F. Edward Hébert School of Medicine of USU. Dr. Cassimatis has had a long and distinguished career in medicine with the U.S. Army. Prior to joining USU in 1995, Dr. Cassimatis held a number of positions with the U.S. Army’s Office of the Surgeon General and with U.S. Army hospitals in Germany and the United States, including Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, D.C.
In recent years, Dr. Cassimatis served as Chair of the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education and the American Medical Association’s Council on Medical Education. For more than a decade, he represented the Association of Military Surgeons of the United States in the AMA’s House of Delegates.
Dr. Cassimatis earned his medical degree from Harvard Medical School and is certified in Psychiatry by the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology. He is a Distinguished Life Fellow of the American Psychiatric Association and has been the recipient of many other honors, including the Nancy C. A. Roeske Certificate of Recognition for Excellence in Medical Student Education from the American Psychiatric Association (2004), The Defense Superior Service Medal from the Department of Defense (2001), and the Year 2000 “Young at Heart” Award from the AMA Young Physicians’ Section, “in recognition of invaluable support and guidance to the Section and Young Physicians.”
Speaking on behalf of FAIMER, President and Chief Executive Officer John J. Norcini, Ph.D., said: “We are delighted by the appointment of Dr. Cassimatis. His long years of involvement with medical education and his international experience complement the needs of the Foundation as we continue to grow and develop.”