The 2023 Medical School Accreditation Requirement was established by ECFMG in 2010 to stimulate international accreditation efforts and enhance the quality of medical education worldwide. The requirement is intended to encourage the development and implementation of standards for evaluating undergraduate medical education, to provide greater assurance to both medical students and the public that they will be appropriately trained.
Applicants and other interested individuals are encouraged to check the 2023 Accreditation Requirement section of the ECFMG website periodically for updates at www.ecfmg.org/accreditation.
Starting in 2023, individuals applying for ECFMG Certification, which is required for international medical graduates to enter graduate medical education (GME) in the United States, must be a student or graduate of a medical school that is appropriately accredited. More specifically, the school must be accredited by an accrediting agency that is officially recognized by the World Federation for Medical Education (WFME).
The WFME Recognition Programme is the only program accepted by ECFMG at the current time for the recognition of medical school accrediting agencies.
Thus, beginning in 2023, medical schools will need to be accredited by a WFME-recognized accrediting agency if they
wish to ensure their students and graduates are eligible for ECFMG Certification.
Please note these guidelines may change over time in ECFMG’s sole discretion. All other ECFMG Certification-related
policies will continue to apply.
- In 2023, individuals will be eligible to apply for ECFMG Certification—the first step in the certification process— and take the required examinations if, at the time of application, their medical school is accredited (including provisional or conditional accreditation) by an accrediting agency recognized by
- Individuals who apply for ECFMG Certification prior to 2023 will continue the examination and certification process under current ECFMG policies, including that their medical school must be recognized by the appropriate government authority in the country where the school is Graduates of the medical school must also be eligible to practice medicine in that country, among other criteria.
- Individuals already certified by ECFMG will not be impacted by this
Institutions in Process of Accreditation or Recognition
- In 2023, individuals may not be eligible to apply for ECFMG Certification if their medical school is still in the
process of obtaining accreditation by a WFME-recognized accrediting agency.
- Similarly, individuals may not be eligible to apply for ECFMG Certification in 2023 if their medical school is accredited by an accrediting agency still in the process of obtaining recognition by Note that once the accrediting agency becomes WFME-recognized, schools do not need to be reaccredited unless they are due for reaccreditation.
Loss of Accreditation Status
- Individuals who successfully apply in 2023 or later may not be eligible to complete the required examinations and obtain ECFMG Certification if, after they apply but before they achieve certification, their medical school loses accreditation or they transfer to a non-accredited
- Individuals who have already achieved ECFMG Certification, however, will not be impacted if their medical school
subsequently loses accreditation.
Four-Phase Implementation Plan
Since the announcement in 2010, ECFMG has developed a transition plan for the implementation of the 2023 Accreditation Requirement. This four-phase plan will provide medical students, GME program directors, and others with information to guide their decision making.
Phase 1 – 2018: New ECFMG web resource to help students make better decisions on medical school selection
- Guidance for students on selecting a medical
- Link to accrediting agencies recognized by
- Visit the new resource at ecfmg.org/medschoolselection.
Phase 2 – 2020: World Directory of Medical Schools includes accreditation status of medical school
- Medical schools that are accredited by an agency recognized by WFME will be indicated in the World Directory of Medical Schools (wdoms.org).
Phase 3 – 2021: ECFMG reports include information on accreditation status of medical school
- ECFMG physician reports to GME programs, employers, state boards, and medical regulatory authorities will include a statement on the accreditation status of the medical For example, “This medical school was accredited in [Year] by an agency recognized by WFME.”
Phase 4 – 2023: Eligibility for ECFMG Certification is tied to accreditation status of medical school
- Individuals will be eligible to apply for ECFMG Certification if their medical school is accredited by an agency
recognized by WFME.
WFME Recognition Programme
The WFME Recognition Programme (www.wfme.org/accreditation/recognition-programme) is the only program accepted by ECFMG at this time for the recognition of medical school accrediting agencies. To view countries served by accrediting agencies that are recognized or in the process of achieving recognition, see this map: www.wfme.org/ accreditation/accrediting-agencies-status.
With 2023 approaching, ECFMG encourages accrediting agencies to visit the WFME website at www.wfme.org to review the recognition criteria and begin the recognition process. Questions regarding the WFME Recognition Programme may be directed to firstname.lastname@example.org.
More Information to Come
ECFMG is committed to keeping all of our stakeholders informed as we move forward with the 2023 Accreditation Requirement. Further details will be published as they become available at www.ecfmg.org/accreditation. Specific questions regarding the 2023 Accreditation Requirement may be sent to email@example.com.