Accreditation of medical schools is generally accepted as important, yet little has been published about its impact. FAIMER Research Scientist Marta van Zanten and FAIMER Director of Research and Data Resources Danette McKinley, along with colleagues Irene Durante Montiel (PHIL 2008) and Concepcion V. Pijano, explore the impact of accreditation in Mexico and the Philippines in their recently published paper:
van Zanten M, McKinley D, Durante Montiel I, Pijano CV. Medical education in Mexico and the Philippines: impact on student outcomes. Medical Education. 2012;46(6):568-592.
Findings in the study support the value of accreditation in medical education. The authors specifically examined the performance of a sample of registrants who took at least one of the three United States Medical Licensing Examination® (USMLE®) components required for Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates (ECFMG) Certification, along with another sample of registrants who took all three components. All registrants were from Mexico and the Philippines. Results of the study show that, although there were differences in performance between the two countries, first attempt pass rates on all components were higher for individuals attending accredited medical schools from both countries. In addition, a higher success rate in obtaining ECFMG Certification was associated with registrants from accredited schools in the Philippines who took all three components.
By 2023, physicians applying for ECFMG Certification will be required to graduate from a medical school that has been accredited through a formal process that uses criteria comparable to those established for U.S. medical schools by the Liaison Committee on Medical Education (LCME) or that uses other globally accepted criteria, such as those put forth by the World Federation for Medical Education (WFME). For more information on the Medical School Accreditation Requirement for ECFMG Certification, please visit www.ecfmg.org/accreditation.
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.