Indian medical graduates can now practice in the United States, Australia, Canada, and other countries thanks to the National Medical Commission (NMC) of India receiving a prestigious 10-year recognition from the World Federation for Medical Education (WFME). This recognition opens doors for Indian medical graduates, allowing them to pursue postgraduate training and professional practice in countries that require WFME recognition. In total, all 706 existing medical colleges in India have now become WFME accredited, and any new medical colleges established within the next decade will automatically receive this accreditation.
This achievement not only enhances India’s appeal as a destination for international students due to its globally recognized standards but also elevates the quality and standards of medical education within the country by aligning them with international best practices and benchmarks.
Furthermore, the WFME recognition elevates the international reputation of Indian medical schools and professionals, fostering academic collaborations and exchanges, promoting continuous improvement and innovation in medical education, and cultivating a culture of quality assurance among all the medical educators and institutions.
The World Federation for Medical Education (WFME) is a global organization dedicated to improving the quality of medical education worldwide, with a focus on upholding the highest scientific and ethical standards in medical education.
In the United States, the Education Commission on Foreign Medical Education (ECFMG) is the primary authority overseeing policies and regulations concerning the licensing of International Medical Graduates (IMGs). To take the United States Medical Licensing Examinations (USMLE) and apply for residency, IMGs must first obtain certification from ECFMG. This certification typically occurs after the second year of a medical program and before taking the USMLE Step 1 examination.
Starting in 2024 (originally planned for 2023 but delayed due to COVID-19), a new ECFMG requirement mandates that applicants for ECFMG Certification must be students or graduates of medical schools accredited by an accrediting agency officially recognized by the WFME. This requirement aligns with India’s recent WFME recognition, affirming the quality of medical education in the country.
The WFME recognition process involves a fee of ₹4,98,5142 ($60,000) per medical college, covering the expenses related to site visits, travel, and accommodation for the visiting team. This means that the total cost for all 706 medical colleges in India to obtain WFME recognition would have been approximately ₹351.9 crore ($4,23,60,000). Notably, the NMC’s WFME recognition applies to all medical colleges under its jurisdiction.