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Issue Three - January 6, 2004

New On-line Fellowship Application

FAIMER is pleased to announce that application for its fellowship programs, the FAIMER Institute and the FAIMER International Fellowships in Medical Education (IFME), is now web-based. To access the web-based application, visit the FAIMER website.

FAIMER’s web-based fellowship application allows medical educators to complete their applications on-line. Applicants can save a partially-completed application and return to it later, reviewing and changing information until the application is submitted. Detailed instructions are provided throughout the on-line application process. FAIMER’s web-based application is easy to use and is available 24 hours a day / 7 days a week.

The deadline for receipt of the on-line application is February 20, 2004; supporting documents are due no later than March 1, 2004.

Please share this information with colleagues who are interested in applying to the Institute or IFME programs.

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International Medical Education Directory (IMED)

The International Medical Education Directory (IMED) was introduced in 2002 as a web-based resource on the world’s medical schools, freely available on the FAIMER website. The information in IMED, initially derived from the extensive current and historical data available to ECFMG in its medical education credentials reference library, has been enhanced and updated by contact with medical school and government officials worldwide.

The initial version of IMED, released in April 2002, listed the medical school name, address, telephone and fax numbers, title of medical degree awarded and graduation years, which are the years for which the school is recognized by the government of the country where the school is located.

IMED lists medical schools in each country alphabetically by the name of the medical school. Users may search by various fields, including geographic region, country, name of medical school or affiliated university, and the city in which the school is located. Detailed search instructions are provided on the website.

An expanded version of IMED is currently available and the information for each medical school now includes the medical school’s current name and university affiliation, previous names (where applicable), and contact information. IMED also offers information about the medical school curriculum, including but not limited to, duration of curriculum and title of the medical degree awarded, the language of instruction, the year instruction began, and the years for which the school has been recognized by the appropriate government agency in the country.

As the results of FAIMER’s recent survey of international Ministries of Health and Medical Councils are received, the IMED listing for each country will be expanded to include contact information for the Ministry of Health, Ministry of Education, medical licensing authority, and/or national accrediting agency, as applicable.

Currently, there are more than 1,800 international medical schools listed in IMED, including more than twenty schools added in 2003. Before a medical school is listed in IMED, the Ministry of Health or other appropriate authority in the country where the school is located must write to FAIMER to provide confirmation that the specified medical school is recognized by the government of the country for award of the Doctor of Medicine (or equivalent) degree, the date on which recognition was granted, and that graduates of the medical school are eligible for medical licensure in the country.

This documentation has customarily been requested by FAIMER after a student or graduate of a non-IMED listed school has applied to ECFMG for examination, or after a request has been made by a student or school official to have the school listed in IMED. As a result of notifications concerning IMED sent to Ministries of Health, Ministries of Education, and Medical Councils in March and November 2002, FAIMER has also received correspondence directly from the governments of countries requesting that new medical schools be included in IMED.

FAIMER also now offers a subscription service for organizational users of IMED. For an annual fee, subscribers can access the IMED database and download the data in one of two formats. Unlimited access to the database during the one-year subscription period allows subscribers to take advantage of the fact that IMED is updated continuously as information about medical schools is received and verified by FAIMER.

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Research Activities

As part of the efforts to ensure the accuracy of the information gathered concerning international medical schools, a survey was mailed this past August to 213 agencies including Ministries of Health, Ministries of Education, and Medical Councils in 171 countries. In addition to collecting information used to verify recognition of international medical schools, respondents were asked to report on admission requirements, accreditation, and medical licensure. To date, there has been a 10% response rate, making it difficult to draw conclusions about international accreditation and licensure. However, based on preliminary results, 81% of the respondents indicated that there are national systems of evaluation or accreditation of medical school programs in their home countries. The results of this survey will be used to further refine and design instruments for the collection of data on international accreditation bodies, including standards used to approve medical programs and criteria employed to certify and license physicians.

The research staff serves as a resource for the educational programs and seeks to collect information related to the programs’ efficacy. Gathering information about the fellowship experience and its benefits, and the extent to which the goals of the programs are being met, is essential to ensure the continual improvement of the programs offered. To this end, in October 2003 surveys were distributed to individuals who are or who have served as mentors to participants in one of the fellowship programs.

The survey instrument was designed to evaluate the mentoring experience and contained questions regarding their reasons for becoming mentors, the skills of the fellows, and post-fellowship contact. To date, preliminary responses have been positive. About 10% of the mentors surveyed have responded. Since most fellowship applications originate in the applicant’s home country without a proposed United States host, mentors were surveyed about the quality of the match with successful applicants. Of the respondents, 69.6% reported that the quality of the match was very good or excellent. When asked if they would continue mentoring, 81% reported that they would agree to mentor again. Fifty-seven percent of the responding mentors reported that they would recommend mentoring FAIMER fellows to colleagues. The deadline for submission of mentor surveys was December 17, 2003. More results will be provided in upcoming issues of MedEd.

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The School of Medical Sciences, National University of Cuyo, recently hosted the IX International Meeting of Medical Education. This meeting was organized by Ana Lía Vargas, M.D., a FAIMER Institute graduate and current Global Faculty Advisor. Over eighty individuals, including faculty from medical schools in Brazil, Chile, and Argentina, attended the conference in Mendoza, Argentina (December 9-11, 2003). The conference focused on the evaluation of clinical skills. Representatives from FAIMER (Jack Boulet, Ph.D. and Marta van Zanten, M.Ed.) were invited to provide their insights on high-stakes, performance-based, assessments. Tony Errichetti, Ph.D. (Clinical Learning and Assessment Center, Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine) and Marné Castillo, M.Ed. (The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, University of Pennsylvania) were also invited as external discussants and asked to provide their perspective on the use of simulations, including standardized patients, for training medical students and residents. Plenary sessions covered many topics, including the use of standardized patients for teaching and assessment and the psychometric challenges associated with developing and scoring clinical skills assessments. In addition, a number of focused workshops were offered to participants: standard setting; standardized patient case and checklist development; assessing communication skills; and standardized patient training. The conference was highly successful in promoting FAIMER’s mission of providing opportunities for the cross-cultural exchange of experience and expertise in the fields of physician training and assessment.

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Contact Information

Mailing Address:

Foundation for Advancement of International Medical Education and Research
3624 Market Street
Philadelphia, PA 19104-2685


FAIMER Institute: Lisa Johnson, Program Manager
Email: faimerinstitute@faimer.org; Voice: 215-823-2213; Fax: 215-386-3309

IFME and STEF Programs: Shirley Williams, Manager
Email: ifme@faimer.org; Voice: 215-823-2105; Fax: 215-966-3121

IMED: Carole Bede, Senior Research Analyst
Email: imed@faimer.org; Fax: 215-386-9767

Research: Danette McKinley, Ph.D., Research Scientist
Email: meded@faimer.org; Fax: 215-386-2321
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[last update: July 5, 2006]