There are two main things that you want to look for when you are evaluating school abroad: their accreditation, and an ECFMG certification.
If you do not look for these two things, you will not be able to sit for your license exam once you finish your degree and you would have wasted a lot of time and money in the process.
Read this blog for more details about what ECFMG stands for, what it means, and other types of accreditations you need to look for in an overseas medical school.
What is ECFMG?
You may be wondering what ECFMG stands for. ECFMG stands for the Education Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates and they are a partner of the National Board of Medical Examiners (NBME) and the Clinical Skills Evaluation Collaboration (CSEC).
The goal of the ECFMG is to ensure that all internationally trained medical students meet some specific standards required to show the education is the same as in the US. This must be shown prior to any medical students getting a medical license or practicing any medicine in the United States.
In fact, as a medical student, you cannot even sit for your medical license exam, or the USMLE exam, unless the school as ECFMG certification. However, one thing to note is that ECFMG is not an accreditation so if you see a school claimed to have ECFMG accreditation, it is likely they do not have ECFMG certification, accreditation, or possibly both.
Why You Need to Look for Accreditation as Well
Because ECFMG is not accreditation, you need to make sure that the schools you are looking at also have this accreditation. One thing to note is that in the future, the ECMFG will not award certification to any school that is not accredited by an accreditation agency that is recognized in the United States.
However, until that change takes place in 2023, you want to be extra careful to ensure that both are in place. When it comes to accreditation, you want to make sure that the school is not only accredited but also that the accreditation is one that is recognized in the United States.
There are several accreditation agencies that do offer accreditation but it is not valid in the US. If this is the case, then your degree will not be recognized there and you will not be able to practice medicine. You do not want to waste time and money on a degree you cannot use to sit for your medical license.
Trinity School of Medicine checks all of these boxes right now. The school has ECMFG certification and is accredited by an agency recognized in the US. If you are looking for a medical school in the Caribbean, be sure to take a look at what we have to offer.