Beginning in 2024, the Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates, or ECFMG, will be instituting new certification changes for International Medical Graduates (IMGs) who plan to practice medicine in the United States.

Xavier University School of Medicine in Aruba takes a closer look at these changes and explains how the institution is staying ahead of the curve to meet the necessary requirements for ECFMG certification. Are you an IMG? Here’s what you need to know.

What are the new ECFMG certification requirements?

The ECFMG is a U.S. agency that is responsible for ensuring foreign medical students receive a quality education and the proper credentials to practice as physicians in the U.S. The ECFMG announced this new requirement in 2010 in order to give medical schools more than a decade to obtain the necessary accreditation.

Effective January 1, 2024, those who are seeking ECFMG certification must be a student or graduate of a medical school—like Xavier—which meets the following criteria:

  • Recognized by their respective country’s national or regional accrediting agency.
  • The accrediting agency must then be recognized by the World Federation of Medical Education (WFME).

Why Xavier is your pathway to residency and practice in the U.S.

Last year, Xavier earned reaccreditation by the Accreditation Commission on Colleges of Medicine (ACCM) through December 31, 2028. Additionally, ACCM has earned WFME Recognition Status, which means that the ECFMG’s requirements for an internationally recognized medical accrediting agency have been met.

What does this mean for you?

If you’re applying to medical schools outside of the U.S. (such as a Caribbean medical school), it’s to your advantage to select ones that have been accredited by an accrediting agency that is officially recognized by the WFME. If not, you’ll be significantly reducing your chances of landing a residency or practicing medicine in the U.S.

As of January 2022, the following are the only approved accrediting bodies in the Caribbean:

  • The Accreditation Commission on Colleges of Medicine (ACCM).
  • Caribbean Accreditation Authority for Education in Medicine and Other Health Professions (CAAM-HP)
  • Netherlands Flemish Accreditation Organization (NVAO)

 ECFMG certification is required for IMGs to practice medicine in the United States. For ECFMG certification, international medical graduates will be required to:

  • Pass USMLE Step 1 and Step 2
  • Provide medical school transcripts and diploma
  • Only have attended no more than two medical schools

We hope you have found this information helpful in planning for a future medical career in the U.S. Learn more about why choosing Xavier over other Caribbean medical schools is the best decision for your future. Apply today!