BMC Medical Education Publishes Special Supplement Edition on Accreditation of Health Professions Education

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In 2012, the International Health Professions Accreditation Outcomes Consortium (IHPAOC) was founded to advance our global understanding of health professions education (HPE) accreditation and create a community of practice across the education and training continuum. IHPAOC members from around the world held two summit meetings and conducted a collaborative process to identify priority topics and build a research agenda, resulting in a special supplement publication in BMC Medical Education, titled “Current themes and challenges facing HPE accreditation in the 21st century.” FAIMER Research Scientist Marta van Zanten is a member of IHPAOC and contributed as a co-author on three of these papers.

The first paper, The role of accreditation in 21st century health professions education: report of an International Consensus Group by Jason R. Frank, Sarah Taber, Marta van Zanten, Fedde Scheele, and Danielle Blouin, examines the purpose of accreditation and return on investment, and defines 10 fundamental and recurring elements of accreditation systems commonly found in HPE.

The second paper, A “fit for purpose” framework for medical education accreditation system design by Sarah Taber, Nesibe Akdemir, Lisa Gorman, Marta van Zanten, and Jason R. Frank, describes the various design elements used in accreditation processes across the education and training continuum.

The third paper, Effective accreditation in postgraduate medical education: from process to outcomes and back by Glen Bandiera, Jason Frank, Fedde Scheele, Jolanta Karpinski, and Ingrid Philibert, argues for an emphasis on outcomes-based accreditation systems.

The fourth paper, Evaluation of continuous quality improvement in accreditation for medical education by Nesibe Akdemir, Linda N. Peterson, Craig M. Campbell, and Fedde Scheele, examines the role of continuous quality improvement and develops a core values framework for accreditation.

The last paper, Responsiveness to societal needs in postgraduate medical education: the role of accreditation by Ingrid Philibert and Danielle Blouin, describes four priorities to enhance the societal responsiveness of HPE, and identifies approaches at the system, institution, program, and individual levels using accreditation as a lever for change.

FAIMER Research Scientist Marta van Zanten Authors Two Papers on Accreditation Issues

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FAIMER Research Scientist Marta van Zanten recently authored two papers on accreditation issues. This research advances the FAIMER goals of maintaining accurate, publicly-available data resources that promote an understanding of the world’s health professions education systems and helping to inform Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates (ECFMG®) policy.

The first paper, written in conjunction with partners at Johns Hopkins, is entitled Describing the evidence-base for accreditation in undergraduate medical education internationally: A scoping review. The authors evaluated over 1,000 abstracts and subsequently read over 200 full text articles for possible inclusion in this scoping review. Of the full text articles reviewed, 36 met the criteria of scholarship on the topic and 85 were classified as non-scholarship. This manuscript summarizes the findings of these articles and provides an analysis of some of the difficulties in conducting research in this domain. These results can be used to guide best practices in accreditation, recommend areas for future research, and inform preparations for ECFMG’s 2023 accreditation requirement.

Paper citation:  Tackett, Sean MD, MPH; Zhang, Christiana MD; Nassery, Najlla MD, MPH; Caufield-Noll, Christine MLIS, AHIP; van Zanten, Marta PhD, Med, Academic Medicine: December 2019 – Volume 94 – Issue 12 – p 1995-2008.

More information can be found here:

A copy of the article can be requested from

The second paper, entitled Using DEQAR data to enhance the World Directory of Medical Schools, compares World Federation for Medical Education (WFME) Recognition Program results and related medical school accreditation data with European Quality Assurance Register (EQAR) accreditation data.  The purpose of this study was to review accreditation data included in the Database of External Quality Assurance Results (DEQAR) to help inform planned enhancements to the World Directory of Medical Schools. The search of DEQAR revealed 109 non-expired evaluation or accreditation reports from 91 higher education institutions or programs located in 21 countries that provide undergraduate (basic) medical education. Three accrediting agencies are included in DEQAR and recognized by WFME. These results will help inform planned enhancements to the World Directory of Medical Schools, including addition of accreditation data at the school level beginning in 2020.

Dr. van Zanten recently presented this paper at the Database of External Quality Assurance Results (DEQAR) Conference and European Quality Assurance Register (EQAR) Members’ Dialogue, October 2019, in Madrid, Spain, and it is published on the EQAR website:

Jeanette Mladenovic, MD, MBA, Selected as Next FAIMER President

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Jeanette Mladenovic, MD, MBAThe Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates (ECFMG®) and its Foundation for Advancement of International Medical Education and Research (FAIMER) announced today that Jeanette Mladenovic, MD, MBA, has been selected as the next President of FAIMER. Dr. Mladenovic will join FAIMER on August 22, 2019, succeeding John J. Norcini, PhD, who has led FAIMER since May 2002. Dr. Mladenovic will serve as a member of the ECFMG-FAIMER Executive Leadership Team.

“Dr. Mladenovic has demonstrated the commitment to collaboration and innovation that will ensure the continued growth and development of FAIMER as a world leader in promoting global health,” said William W. Pinsky, MD, President and CEO of ECFMG and Chair of the FAIMER Board of Directors. “Under her leadership, FAIMER will continue to be a strategic partner to ECFMG and other organizations that strive to promote quality health care worldwide.”

Dr. Mladenovic has spent her career in academic administrative roles, most recently serving as Executive Vice President and Provost at Oregon Health & Science University (OHSU), an academic health center comprised of five schools with over 100 degree granting programs, several research institutes, and an integrated health system. Among her many accomplishments were the opening of a new School of Public Health, an Interprofessional Rural Campus distributed throughout the state, a novel campus in Southeast Asia (Thailand, Laos, Myanmar), and a collaborative life sciences building serving three universities. Previously, she held positions as Senior Associate Dean for Graduate Medical Education (two campuses) and Director of Research Education at the University of Miami, Senior Associate Dean and Chair of Medicine at SUNY Downstate, and Chief of Medicine at the University of Colorado and SUNY Stonybrook. A hematologist by training, she oversaw a funded stem cell research laboratory for 18 years. Following her retirement from OHSU in 2017, she founded The Center for Women in Academic Medicine and Science (CWAMS).

Dr. Mladenovic received her undergraduate degree from the University of Washington and is an Alpha Omega Alpha graduate of its School of Medicine. She trained in internal medicine at Johns Hopkins Hospital and Stanford University, with a Chief Residency at the University of Washington, where she also completed fellowship training in hematology. She has an MBA with distinction from the University of Miami, and attended the Harvard Law School Program on Negotiation. Dr. Mladenovic has served in leadership roles for the American Board of Internal Medicine, American Board of Medical Specialties, Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education, American Society of Hematology, Association of Professors of Medicine, and the Society of Ultrasound in Medical Education.

FAIMER President John Norcini Announces Retirement

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FAIMER President John NorciniJohn J. Norcini, Ph.D., President and CEO of 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, United States 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.

FAIMER Vice President for Research and Data Resources Jack Boulet Selected as 2018 Society for Simulation in Healthcare Fellow

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FAIMER Vice President for Research and Data Resources Jack Boulet​Jack Boulet, Ph.D., FAIMER Vice President for Research and Data Resources, was recently selected as a 2018 Fellow of the Society for Simulation in Healthcare (SSH) Academy. The vision of the SSH Academy is to assemble a community of recognized experts and thought leaders whose work promotes the advancement and transformation of simulation in healthcare globally. Fellows were selected based on their sustained, substantial contributions to the field of healthcare simulation, and will be formally inducted into the SSH Academy at the International Meeting on Simulation in Healthcare on January 13, 2018. 

FAIMER Research Scientist Marta van Zanten Publishes Article on Recognition of Accrediting Agencies

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An article about the evaluation and recognition of agencies that accredit medical education programs authored by FAIMER Research Scientist Marta van Zanten was recently published online by the journal Quality in Higher Education. Accreditation provides a level of legitimacy to medical education programs; however, the agencies responsible for accreditation may vary in their scope, governance, and the robustness and transparency of their decision-making processes. To enhance validity and comply with governmental and/or medical professional regulations, some agencies undergo external evaluations of their standards and protocols, a process commonly referred to as recognition. Dr. van Zanten’s article compares six European and United States-based recognition organizations that evaluate agencies that accredit medical education, highlighting similarities and differences in scope, processes, and consequences of review.

The article, titled “Recognition organisations that evaluate agencies accrediting medical education programmes: Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?” was published on August 30, 2017. The first 50 people to access the article will receive a free download of the entire manuscript.

Snigdha Mukherjee Joins FAIMER Staff as Director of Evaluation

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We are pleased to announce that Dr. Snigdha Mukherjee has joined FAIMER as our new Director of Evaluation. She comes to us from the Louisiana Public Health Institute (LPHI) where she was Associate Director for Scientific Integrity in the Division of Evaluation & Research. At LPHI, she was asked to conceptualize, plan, and implement evaluation activities for funded grants and contracts. She is a sociologist with expertise in survey research methodology, program evaluation theory, and methods as well as quantitative and qualitative techniques. Her postdoctoral training was in health behavior. Dr. Mukherjee has extensive experience in conceptualizing, planning and designing, fielding and managing projects, conducting data analysis, and writing reports and manuscripts for publication in research and evaluation. She has taught undergraduate and graduate courses and has mentored junior faculty and staff in program evaluation, research methods, and design.

Dr. Mukherjee and her team will soon be looking at enhancing evaluation of FAIMER Education programs and The Network: Towards Unity for Health.  One area we are exploring is in-depth case studies of some FAIMER projects. Dr. Mukherjee will be working with FAIMER Regional Institute directors to help identify possible projects.

Rashmi Vyas Is Promoted to Assistant Vice President for Education

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Photo of Rashmi VyasPlease join us in congratulating Rashmi Vyas, M.B.B.S., M.D., M.H.P.E., on her promotion to Assistant Vice President (AVP) for Education at FAIMER. Dr. Vyas is a graduate of Christian Medical College at Ludhiana, India, and BJ Medical College in Ahmedabad, India (M.D. in Physiology), who became a FAIMER Fellow in 2003. After her Fellowship, her responsibilities in medical education as a faculty member at Christian Medical College at Vellore grew. She also became a regular faculty member at three of the FAIMER Regional Institutes in India, as well as at the FAIMER Institute in Philadelphia. During this period, Dr. Vyas matriculated at the University of Illinois at Chicago and completed her Masters in Health Professions Education. Her Masters thesis led to five publications in medical education. In 2014, Dr. Vyas joined FAIMER as Cross Cultural Communications Specialist, was later promoted to Associate Director for Regional Faculty Development, and recently to Co-Director of the FAIMER Institute. She would like to acknowledge the FAIMER Education team for their support, as well as the contributions of Page Morahan, Founding Co-Director Emerita of the FAIMER Institute, and Memoona Hasnain, past AVP for Education, whose work she will be building upon. As AVP, Dr. Vyas will be involved with every aspect of FAIMER Education, with a particular focus on FAIMER Fellowships.

WFME and FAIMER Staff Publish Article about the World Directory of Medical Schools

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An article about the World Directory of Medical Schools, coauthored by FAIMER Research Assistant Sarah Williams Leng and Barbora Hrabalová of the World Federation for Medical Education (WFME), was recently published on the European Consortium for Accreditation’s (ECA) online QAzette. To access the article, click here.

The World Directory of Medical Schools (World Directory) was launched in April 2014 by WFME and FAIMER, as the result of a March 2012 agreement to merge the organizations’ respective directories—FAIMER’s International Medical Education Directory (IMED) and WFME’s Avicenna Directory—to produce a single comprehensive resource on undergraduate medical education worldwide.

The World Directory is freely available at Those interested can search for medical schools listed in the directory. In June 2016, WFME and FAIMER announced the launch of the World Directory Subscription Service. This service allows regulatory authorities, researchers, and other interested subscribers access to download a wealth of information from the World Directory for an annual fee. Available information includes medical schools’ years of operation, academic affiliations, and curriculum details. Data files are available for download in CSV or XML format and are updated daily.

Questions and new listing requests may be sent to the World Directory staff at

Memoona Hasnain Joins FAIMER Leadership Team

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FAIMER Assistant Vice President for Education Memoona HasnainWe are pleased to announce that Memoona Hasnain, M.D., M.H.P.E., Ph.D., has joined FAIMER as Assistant Vice President for Education and Co-Director of the FAIMER Institute. Dr. Hasnain is responsible for overseeing the planning and implementing of educational methods and the educational research component of FAIMER education activities, including the FAIMER Institute, FAIMER Regional Institutes, and distance learning.

Prior to joining FAIMER, Dr. Hasnain served as Associate Department Head for Faculty Development & Research and Associate Professor of Public Health and Medical Education in Family Medicine at the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) College of Medicine. The primary focus of Dr. Hasnain’s work is at the intersection of medicine and public health, with a special emphasis on interprofessional education, service, and research. Her work in health disparities and health professions education converges on developing leaders and scholars and finding effective ways to identify and address patient, provider, and system level barriers to the provision of high quality, patient-centered care for vulnerable populations. She is the principal architect of several educational innovations, including the UIC College of Medicine’s longitudinal “Patient-centered Medicine Scholars Program” and “Interprofessional Approaches to Health Disparities.” For the past 13 years, Dr. Hasnain developed and taught a course titled “International Women’s Health: Current and Emerging Issues” for Ph.D. and Masters students at the UIC School of Public Health. She is also past Chair of the Group on Faculty Development for the Society of Teachers of Family Medicine.

Dr. Hasnain’s work has been consistently externally funded and published in peer reviewed journals. She is a reviewer for federal grants and several scientific journals. Dr. Hasnain has received numerous accolades for her research and teaching, including the Teaching Recognition Award by the UIC Council for Excellence in Teaching and Learning, the Health Policy and Administration Distinguished Alumni Achievement Award from the UIC School of Public Health, and the Susan La Flesche Picotte, M.D. Health Equity Pioneer Award from the UIC College of Medicine. She is also a recipient of the prestigious Macy Faculty Scholars Award by the Josiah Macy Jr Foundation. This award is given to select educators nationally to accelerate needed reforms in health professions education to accommodate the dramatic changes occurring in medical practice and health care delivery.

Dr. Hasnain received her medical degree from Dow Medical College, Karachi, Pakistan and trained as an Obstetrician-Gynecologist. She served as a Medical Educationist in the Department of Medical Education at the College of Physicians and Surgeons, Pakistan, a World Health Organization Center for Health Professions Education. She earned a Masters in Health Professions Education and Doctorate in Public Health Sciences from UIC. She is a trained mediator and Healer’s Art faculty.

Please join us in welcoming Dr. Hasnain to FAIMER.