International Medical School Accreditation Updates Regarding ECFMG Certification

All students attending international medical schools with the intention of practicing medicine in the United States must meet certain eligibility requirements, including achieving certification through the Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates (ECFMG).  Medical licensing authorities in the United States require that international medical graduates be certified by ECFMG, among other requirements, to apply for a license to practice medicine in the applicable state.

Change to Accrediting Agency Recognition Requirement

Starting in 2024, individuals applying for ECFMG Certification must be a student or graduate of a medical school that is accredited by an accrediting agency that is officially recognized by the World Federation for Medical Education (WFME). The WFME recognition process will be accepted by ECFMG for the recognition of medical school accrediting agencies beginning in 2024, based on this new requirement.

Based on the U.S. DOE’s 2019 rigorous review of the GMDC, and the successful outcome demonstrating comparability to U.S. medical school accreditation standards, we are confident that GMDC is taking every step necessary to receive WFME approval. GMDC states on its website: By letter dated October 31, 2020, WFME notified GMDC that it is “eligible for the WFME Recognition of Accreditation Programme” and GMDC can proceed with its application. WFME is scheduled to visit GMDC in the spring of 2022, well ahead of the 2024 ECFMG deadline.

This change impacts all international medical schools and medical school accrediting agencies. Agencies that are currently approved by WFME will need to maintain, and in some cases, renew, their recognition status prior to 2024, and other agencies are in the process of pursuing WFME recognition. Medical schools need to be accredited by, and in good standing with, a WFME-recognized accreditor by 2024 in order for their graduates to be eligible for ECFMG certification and licensure in the United States.

St. George’s University School of Medicine

St. George’s University School of Medicine’s accreditor, the Grenada Medical and Dental Council (GMDC), is appointed by the Government of Grenada.  GMDC has also received a Determination of Comparability by the U.S. Department of Education’s National Committee on Foreign Medical Education and Accreditation (NCFMEA).  This Determination of Comparability enables SGU students to participate in the USDOE Title IV student loan program.  These affiliations and approvals provide St. George’s University graduates an eligible pathway to certification under ECFMG’s current, pre-2024 policies.

Students and graduates who apply for ECFMG certification prior to 2024 will continue the examination and certification process under current ECFMG policies.

GDMC, as well as many other accrediting agencies around the world are in the process of pursuing WFME recognition.  GMDC has advised us that it anticipates achieving WFME approval well in advance of 2024.

We will provide updates on GMDC’s progress as additional information becomes available.

We encourage students scheduled to graduate in 2024 or later, to consult the websites of WFME, ECFMG and GMDC for additional information.  The agency links are below:

https://wfme.org/accreditation/accrediting-agencies-status/
https://www.ecfmg.org/accreditation/
https://gmdc.gd/
https://sites.ed.gov/ncfmea/comparability-decisions/
https://gmdc.gd/gmdc-response-to-upcoming-ecfmg-requirement-for-international-medical-graduates/

You may also contact our University Registrar (regmail@sgu.edu),  if you want more information on this subject.