Improving the Quality of Medical Education Worldwide: The Contributions of ECFMG and FAIMER


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HAPA San Francisco
May 21, 2013

Emmanuel G. Cassimatis MD
President and CEO, ECFMG

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  • Improving the Quality of Medical Education Worldwide: The Contributions of ECFMG and FAIMER

    1. 1. Improving the Quality of Medical Education Worldwide: The Contributions of ECFMG and FAIMER Emmanuel G. Cassimatis, MD President and CEO, ECFMG Chair, Board of Directors, FAIMER HAPA, San Francisco, CA 21 May 2013
    2. 2. ECFMG ECFMG is a private, nonprofit, nongovernmental organization that is authorized in federal regulations to serve as the certifying agency for international medical graduates (IMGs) entering the U.S. physician workforce as trainees in postgraduate medical education.
    3. 3. ECFMG Certification  Assures residency program directors and the US public that the international medical graduate (IMG) has met minimum standards to enter US residency programs  Is a prerequisite for all IMGs for: • Entry into ACGME-accredited GME • Taking USMLE Step 3 • State licensure • J-1 visa sponsorship / ECFMG
    4. 4. Current Requirements for ECFMG Certification  Examination Requirements USMLE – U. S. Medical Licensing Examination: • Step 1 • Step 2, Clinical Knowledge (CK) • Step 2, Clinical Skills (CS)  Credential Requirements •IMED listed medical school •Minimum four-year curriculum •Final medical diploma •Primary-source verified diploma and transcript
    5. 5. ECFMG Certificates Awarded 5th pathway excluded (not eligible for ECFMG certification).
    6. 6. Top Countries of Citizenship, Certificates Issued (1988-2012) Citizenship at time of entrance to medical school. Top five countries based on aggregate data over a 25-year period. Data current as of April 15, 2013.
    7. 7. Applicants from Caribbean Medical Schools Source: ECFMG
    8. 8. Health Care Challenges Impacting on International Medical Education  Variability in regulatory requirements around the world  Increase in physician mobility • Medical school attendance • GME • Licensure and practice  Medical tourism  Rapid increase in number of medical schools around the world
    9. 9. Recognized Medical Schools Source: IMED
    10. 10. Growth in Number of Medical Schools • Many countries with medical school growth rates greater than 25% since 2002: # old # new % increase • Australia 11 8 72.7% • Brazil 104 61 58.7% • Chile 14 4 28.6% • Ecuador 12 3 25.0% • India 198 71 35.9% • Lebanon 5 2 40.0% • Malaysia 10 4 40.0% • Pakistan 34 16 47.1% • Philippines 31 8 25.8% • South Africa 8 2 25.0%
    11. 11. Global Migration of Physicians  The number of physicians coming to the USA from certain countries, mainly India, has decreased somewhat in recent years, but that decrease has been partially compensated by increased numbers of USIMGs, Canadian IMGs and others, coming mostly from the Caribbean  The number of IMGs emigrating to countries other than the USA appears to be increasing somewhat (based on ECFMG data from EICS and othersources)  ECFMG is accordingly faced with two IMG populations, one coming to the USA and another going to Australia, Canada, South Africa, UK and other countries
    12. 12. Acceptance into and Completion of an ACGME-Approved Residency Program  Projected physician shortage in the USA  New challenges for training in the USA: • Increasing numbers of US allopathic and osteopathic graduates • Increasing numbers of USIMGs (mostly from the Caribbean) seeking training in the USA • Relatively fixed number of Medicare-funded GME positions • Possible new additional ACGME requirements for Fellowship training  ECFMG certification does NOT guarantee selection for residency (specialty) training
    13. 13. Projected Physician Shortages Source: AAMC, Center for Workforce Studies
    14. 14. Entering GME (Projections) Source: AAMC, AMA, AACOM (~6600 IMGs also entered PGY1 positions in 2012)
    15. 15. Shortage of GME Positions Source: AAMC, AMA, AACOM (~6600 IMGs also entered PGY1 positions in 2012)
    16. 16. Considerations  “Given the current concern over the federal deficit, the likelihood that Congress will remove the cap on Medicare’s GME support is nil.” • Iglehart, J.K. (2011)
    17. 17. Future Options for International Medical Graduates
    18. 18. Specialty Training Considerations  World economy • Cost of examinations • Standard of living  Opportunities around the world • Australia, Canada, UK, US • Medical tourism  Immigration policies  Motivation
    19. 19. Specialty Training in the US  Top graduates from around the world will remain competitive for US residency positions  Ample post-residency opportunities in view of projected shortages  Major Concern: • Decreased availability of entry-level GME positions
    20. 20. Specialty Training Outside the US  Very likely, will become much more widely available  JCHAO-I accredited hospitals proliferating around the world  ACGME- accredited programs in Asia (Singapore) and the Middle East  International board certification by US specialty boards increasingly likely  Credentialing of IMGs is now available throughout the world via ECFMG’s EPIC program
    21. 21. Summary of Additional Concerns from Multiple Sources  Which are the medical schools operating around the world and where are they? Are they all legitimate?  Are medical schools around the globe accredited and, if yes, by whom, and on the basis of what standards?  As students seek training opportunities around the world, how can they become familiar with what is available internationally?  How are credentials of international students seeking GME and or licensure in any country validated? Are they primary source verified?  What guidance/support is available for students /physicians seeking training and professional opportunities internationally or in the USA?
    22. 22. ECFMG Initiatives in Response to Identified Concerns  For IMGs coming to the US: • ECFMG’s Certificate Holders’ Office (ECHO)  For IMGs NOT coming to the US: • ECFMG’s GEMx Program • ECFMG’s Primary Source Credentials Verification Programs:  ECFMG International Credentials Service (EICS)  Electronic Portfolio of International Credentials (EPIC)
    23. 23. ECFMG International Credentials Services (EICS) Credentials Primary-Source Verified by EICS in 2011, by Document Type 9084 5747 3904 2269 Medical School Diploma Certificate of Postgraduate Medical Training Medical School Transcript Certificate of Licensure (10%) (19%) (27%) (43%) 2188 Current Clients  Australia – Australian Medical Council  Canada – Medical Council of Canada and Physicians Credentials Registry of Canada  Namibia – Medical and Dental Board of Namibia  Norway – Norwegian Registration Authority for Health Personnel  South Africa – Health Professions Council of South Africa
    24. 24. Electronic Portfolio of International Credentials (EPIC)  Primary-source verification – a “best practice”--utilizes ECFMG’s recognized expertise in verifying medical credentials  Will provide individual physicians with a secure repository of primary-source verified medical credentials  On-line service with 24/7 access  Reports of verified medical credentials sent to medical regulatory authorities and other organizations anywhere in the world  Launched in April 2013
    25. 25. ECFMG and Accreditation of International Medical Schools  ECFMG Board announced in 2010 an addition (effective in 2023) to the list of requirements for certifying an International Medical Graduate (IMG) for entry into US GME: Graduation from an accredited international medical school  Accreditation needs to be defined, and the new ECFMG requirement includes comparability of international accrediting standards with US (LCME) standards and/or established global standards, such as those put forth by WFME
    26. 26. A Global Medical School Accreditation Mechanism  WFME reviews and “recognizes” Regional or National Accrediting Agencies for compliance with its standards • Pilot : CAAM-HP was evaluated by WFME in 2011 and recognized in 2012  Regional or National Agencies accredit individual schools  Accreditation of a international medical school by an agency recognized by WFME, will meet the new ECFMG requirement for certification
    27. 27. FAIMER Foundation for Advancement of International Medical Education and Research
    28. 28. How FAIMER Came To Be  ECFMG is a nonprofit with a long history of granting activity  FAIMER created in 2000, by the ECFMG • Non-profit foundation • Separate but overlapping Directorate (N=15) • Provided with an endowment and ongoing support • Given responsibility for ongoing ECFMG fellowship and grant programs
    29. 29. Strategic Plan “Improve the health of populations”
    30. 30. Strategic Plan Improve Health Professions Education Faculty Development Research Data Resources
    31. 31. FAIMER: Faculty Development  Initial Geographic Focus: • South Asia • Africa • Latin America  Programs: • FAIMER Institutes  Philadelphia  Regional • FAIMER Education Centers • International Fellowships in Medical Education (IFME)
    32. 32. Programs: Philadelphia Institute  Curriculum based on needs assessment  Two-year program aimed at faculty • 16 Fellows per year • Requires a project that has institutional support • Mixed face-to-face and distance learning • Ongoing evaluation
    33. 33. Programs: Regional Institutes  Enhances relevance, networking, efficiency  Run by FAIMER Fellows  Mostly FAIMER funded  Mumbai (‘05), Ludhiana (‘06), Coimbatore (‘07), Brazil (‘07), Southern Africa (‘08)
    34. 34. FAIMER Data Resources  IMED: The International Medical Education Directory • Introduced in 2002. Free, web-based resource • Accurate and up-to-date source about international medical schools that are recognized by the appropriate government agency in the countries where the medical schools are located • Is merging with WFME’s Avicenna to form the new World Directory of Medical Schools  DORA: Directory of Organizations that Recognize / Accredit undergraduate medical education programs • Complementary resource to IMED
    35. 35. The International Medical Education Directory (IMED) IMED Lists 2,254 medical schools worldwide Data current as of July 28, 2009
    36. 36. World Directory of Medical Schools • In 1953, the WHO published the first listing of the world’s medical schools • Sought to answer ‘what is the school like?’ and ‘how good is it?’ • In 2000, WHO published its final paper directory. Between 2000-2007, the WHO maintained a directory electronically incorporating some updates received after the 2000 print publication. • The absence of an up-to-date directory created a problem for students, schools, and regulatory bodies around the world
    37. 37. The AVICENNA Directories In August 2007, the WHO signed an agreement with the World Federation for Medical Education and University of Copenhagen to transfer responsibility for development and maintenance of their medical school directory. In March 2008, the AVICENNA project was announced and in August 2008, the contents of the World Directory of Medical Schools were transferred to the AVICENNA Directory for medicine.
    38. 38. The New World Directory of Medical Schools  Aims • Complete coverage of institutions and countries • Comprehensive information on each school • Reliable and up-to-date • Easily accessible • Systematic data-gathering and presentation process  Process • WDMS available in 2013 (target is August 2013) • IMED/Avicenna will remain for a period of time  Sponsors • Australian Medical Council • ECFMG • General Medical Council (UK) • Korean Institute of Medical Education and Evaluation • Medical Council of Canada
    39. 39. FAIMER-Keele Credentials
    40. 40. Questions?Questions? THANK YOU!THANK YOU!