Accreditation and Standards in Foreign Medical Education

The National Committee on Foreign Medical Education and Accreditation or NCFMEA was most recently authorized by the Higher Education Opportunity Act of 2008.  The Committee is authorized to evaluate the standards of accreditation applied to foreign medical schools, and to determine the comparability of those standards to standards applied to medical schools in the United States. A determination of comparability of accreditation standards by the NCFMEA is an eligibility requirement for foreign medical schools to participate in the William D. Ford Federal Direct Student Loan Program [20 U.S.C. §§ 1087a et seq.].

Throughout its tenure, the NCFMEA has reached out to the medical education community; accreditors; international educators; and interested members of the public, to engage in informed deliberation.

In 2009, the Committee issued a Report to the U.S. Secretary of Education and Congress on recommendations regarding institutional eligibility criteria for foreign medical schools, as required by the Higher Education Opportunity Act of 2008. This report contained several recommendations regarding the participation of foreign medical schools in the Department’s student loan program, and was vital to the 2010 negotiated rulemaking session on foreign medical school regulations that became effective in 2011.

Since the NCFMEA reconvened in 2011, the Committee has made 31 comparability determinations for foreign countries, has reviewed 37 monitoring reports, hosted several presentations and trainings, conducted a site visit to Jamaica in 2015, and revised its Guidelines in 2013 and 2017.