New 2024 Medical School Accreditation Requirement
In 2010 the Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates (ECFMG) announced that the physicians applying for ECFMG certification would be required to graduate from a medical school that has been appropriately accredited (See ECFMG page regarding this). ECFMG, in cooperation with other bodies, to improve the quality of applicants into the US medical system by introducing this requirement. Inevitably, this will increase the quality of education offered in the Caribbean, but also, in our own opinion, will result in the closure of some medical schools. Further, to ensure that this will not be a process that is easy to circumvent, the ECFMG and FAIMER have put in place procedures to APPROVE THE ACCREDITING BODIES. This way, for example, an island of Curacao, which does not currently have ties with any accrediting body, will not simply be able to come up with some local body that will simply accredit all the schools on the island, but will have to make an effort to produce a credible body worthy of ECFMG and FAIMER’s approval, or will have to request an existing body, like NVAO, CAAM-HP or ACCM, to become an official accrediting body of the island. The only body from the Caribbean that has managed to complete this process thus far is CAAM-HP. It is in our own opinion that NVAO and ACCM will likely be able to meet the requirements set forth by ECFMG and FAIMER.
Your education will likely last 4-6 years. You are going to want to be as certain as possible that the school you are joining will be able to meet the Year 2023 requirement. As there is a possibility that you will be in your fourth year of medical education and in the process of applying for residency, the absolute worst-case scenario will be that your school does not meet that deadline. Many schools also have rules about NOT accepting transfer students in their last year of education (an accreditation standard). This could leave you in a very undesirable position in 2023/2024.
Tip #15: Find out whether the island on which is the school you are considering on joining has a partnership with an approved or legitimate accrediting body like NVAO, CAAM-HP or ACCM. If they do not, this could be a potential red flag.
Tip #16: Find out whether the school has attempted to be accredited by any of the three recognized accrediting bodies by visiting their website.
Tip #17: Find out from your advisor, or even the current students via social media, what is your school’s plan for meeting the 2024 deadline and what steps, if any, have been taken. If the advisor is not aware of the requirement, or avoids the discussion, this is a red flag.