Beginning in 2024, an ECFMG certification change will go into effect.

While the ECFMG does not accredit schools directly, the agency will begin relying on the World Federation for Medical Education (WMFE) to determine qualification. The ECFMG will only be certifying students who attended a WMFE-accredited medical school. This change was announced in 2010 and will go into effect in 2024. 

 

What does the ECFMG certification change mean for students? 

The logic of this change can be confusing or even worrisome for medical students. Especially if you are a medical student at the threshold of seeking ECFMG certification or recently began medical school. 

First, take a deep breath. You might not be affected. You can check if your medical school is WMFE accredited by clicking here. Countries in dark blue have medical school accrediting agencies recognized by the WMFE. If you attend med school in any of these countries, you’re in the clear.  

Countries in light blue have hope. These are countries whose accrediting agencies have applied for WMFE recognition. If you attend medical school in a country shaded in light blue, your school may be close to WMFE recognition. Learn more about the application process here. 

But what if you don’t attend a medical school in either of these categories? Or, what happens if your country’s accrediting agency’s application is rejected? 

 

There’s good news and bad news.

(And maybe some hope.)

 

The Good News 

If you have applied for ECFMG certification (or will apply before 2024), then you will be able to continue through the certification process under pre-2024 rules. This is true even if you are not fully certified by 2024. 

For those who already have ECFMG certification, or receive it before 2024, there will be no change to your status come 2024. 

The Bad News 

If you do attend medical school in a country without a WMFE-recognized accrediting agency in 2024, and you have not yet applied for ECFMG certification, you will be unable to apply for ECFMG certification in 2024 and beyond. 

The Hope 

There is hope in the notion that your medical school needs to qualify for WMFE recognition at the time of application. The application process for recognition is relatively long (8-12) months. With 16 months left until the new process goes into effect, there is feasibly enough time to petition your medical school or accrediting agency to seek WMFE recognition and have it approved before you apply.  

It certainly won’t be easy, but it is an important factor. 

Read more from the ECFMG here.