Indian medical graduates can now undertake advanced training and work in nations such as the United States, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand, following the National Medical Commission (NMC) securing the prestigious World Federation for Medical Education (WFME) Recognition Status for a decade.
In a recent announcement by the Union Health Ministry, the National Medical Commission (NMC) of India has achieved the prestigious World Federation for Medical Education (WFME) Recognition Status, valid for a duration of 10 years.
This recognition paves the way for Indian medical graduates to pursue postgraduate training and practice in countries like the United States, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand, where WFME recognition is a prerequisite.
This accreditation extends to all 706 existing medical colleges in India, ensuring that they are now WFME accredited. Additionally, any new medical colleges established over the next decade will automatically gain WFME accreditation. This development positions India as an appealing destination for international students, given its adherence to globally recognised standards.
Furthermore, the NMC will benefit from the privilege of elevating the quality and standards of medical education in India by aligning them with global best practices and benchmarks. This recognition is expected to enhance the international reputation of Indian medical schools and professionals, fostering academic collaborations, exchanges, and promoting ongoing improvement and innovation in medical education. It aims to cultivate a culture of quality assurance among medical educators and institutions.
The World Federation for Medical Education (WFME) is a global organisation dedicated to advancing the quality of medical education worldwide, with a mission to improve healthcare for all. WFME places a primary focus on upholding the highest scientific and ethical standards in medical education.
The Health Ministry’s press release highlights that in the United States, the Education Commission on Foreign Medical Education (ECFMG) serves as the primary body overseeing policies and regulations related to licensing International Medical Graduates (IMGs).
IMGs are required to be ECFMG-certified to take the USMLEs (United States Medical Licensing Examinations) and apply for residency. Typically, ECFMG certification is obtained after completing the second year of a medical program and before taking the USMLE Step 1 examination.
Notably, in 2010, ECFMG introduced a new requirement scheduled to be effective in 2024 (originally set for 2023 but delayed due to COVID-19). According to this rule, individuals seeking ECFMG Certification must be students or graduates of medical schools accredited by an accrediting agency officially recognised by the World Federation for Medical Education (WFME). The WFME recognition process entails a fee of ₹ 4,985,142 ($60,000) per medical college, covering expenses related to site visits, travel, and accommodation.
Experts suggest the objective of this recognition is to bolster the global recognition and reputation of Indian medical institutions, thereby fostering an elevation in the quality of education offered at accredited medical colleges in India. The fees received by each medical college following WFME recognition will serve as a crucial resource in advancing education quality and facilitating infrastructure development.
The total cost for the 706 medical colleges in India to seek WFME recognition amounts to approximately ₹ 351.9 crore ($4,23,60,000). It is worth highlighting that the NMC’s decision to pursue WFME recognition applies uniformly to all medical colleges under its jurisdiction.
Dr. Yogender Malik, a Member of the Ethics and Medical Registration Board and Head of the Media Division at NMC, expressed, “WFME’s recognition underscores that the quality of medical education in India adheres to global standards. This accolade empowers our students with the opportunity to pursue their careers anywhere in the world, while also making India an attractive destination for international students due to our globally recognised standards.”
WFME, as an international organisation, is dedicated to enhancing the quality of medical education on a global scale. The WFME accreditation program plays a pivotal role in ensuring that medical institutes meet and uphold the highest standards of education and training, as noted in a release by the Union Health Ministry.
Meanwhile, the NMC serves as India’s foremost regulatory body, entrusted with the responsibility of overseeing medical education and practice throughout the nation. Its primary mission is to deliver quality medical education and training across India.