This Month's News
Expanding borders to Australia: Medical education goes global
The world is growing smaller, and medical education is no exception. A number of initiatives and activities underline this move towards a new mindset that is more global and less local.
For example, springing from that most worldly of cities, New Orleans, the Ochsner Health System and the University of Queensland Medical School in Brisbane, Australia, are collaborating on the University of Queensland School of Medicine Clinical School at Ochsner. Through the program, U.S. medical students can complete two years of pre-clinical training in Australia and their third- and fourth-year training in the States. Australian medical students also will have the opportunity to spend part of their third and fourth years at Ochsner, benefiting from a variety of medical specialties, research and core rotations.
With the growing importance of international electives in medical education, the Association of American Medical Colleges is piloting a new program to help facilitate educational exchanges for medical students. The Global Health Learning Opportunities pilot is a Web-based health education exchange service that connects first-year international and domestic medical students with clinical and research elective rotations.
In the regulatory arena, the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education has extended its reach to Singapore to accredit residency programs through its ACGME-International division. Meanwhile, the Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates (ECFMG) announced in fall 2011 that it will require accreditation of medical schools attended by all international medical graduates (IMGs) who seek ECFMG certification beginning in 2023. (The long time frame for implementation allows time for one or more entities to undertake the process of accrediting the world's 2,000 international medical schools.)
At the AMA, the International Medical Graduates (IMG) Section, which represents 35,000 AMA-member IMGs, works to assist IMGs into their acculturation into the U.S. health care system and advocates for more streamlined and equitable licensing requirements for IMGs.