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International Consultation

The LCME does not accredit medical education programs leading to the MD degree outside of the passport-granting areas of the United States and Canada.

For more information about accrediting organizations in other countries, see Access to U.S. Residencies and Licensure for Graduates Outside of the U.S. & Canada.

Guiding Principles for LCME Participation in International Accreditation and Quality Assurance Activities

For over 75 years, the LCME has played a central role in ensuring the quality of medical education programs in the United States and, in collaboration with the Committee on Accreditation of Canadian Medical Schools (CACMS), in Canada. The LCME’s level of experience in accreditation has led to invitations to become involved in accreditation and educational quality assurance activities internationally and has led the LCME to seek and obtain recognition by the World Federation for Medical Education (WFME). On a number of occasions, the LCME has affirmed that it would not act to accredit international medical schools outside of its longstanding partnership with Canada. However, over the years, the LCME has provided consultation to international accreditation systems about the development of accreditation policies, processes, and standards. This type of assistance has been offered on an ad hoc basis under the LCME’s auspices by members of the Secretariat. Such consultation by the LCME Secretariat does not constitute LCME accreditation or an affirmation nor is it equivalent to LCME accreditation. The LCME will not participate in or conduct accreditation reviews of individual international medical schools using LCME standards. In all international activities, it will be clearly specified that no accreditation or recognition by the LCME is implied.

Partnerships

As feasible, the LCME will seek partnerships with agencies such as FAIMER and WFME that are engaged in activities related to international medical education quality assurance and accreditation. Whenever possible, international quality assurance activities of the LCME will be carried out in collaboration with such agencies.

Access to U.S. Residencies and Licensure for Graduates Outside of the U.S. & Canada

The LCME’s scope is limited to the accreditation of complete and independent medical education programs for which students are geographically located in the United States or Canada for their education and that are operated by universities or medical schools that are chartered in the United States or Canada. View a list of LCME-accredited programs on the Medical School Directory.

Graduates of LCME-accredited medical schools are automatically eligible to take the United States Medical Licensing Examination (USMLE), which is a required component of the application process for a residency program in the United States. Graduates of MD programs outside of the United States or Canada (i.e., international medical graduates) must first receive certification from the Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates (ECFMG) to become eligible for application to a U.S. residency program and for state medical licensure in the United States. Details of the certification process can be found in the ECFMG Certification Fact Sheet.

To learn about the accrediting organizations in other countries, refer to the Foundation for the Advancement of International Medical Education and Research (FAIMER). FAIMER was established in 2000 by the ECFMG. Specifically, FAIMER has created a Directory of Organizations that Recognize/Accredit Medical Schools (DORA). DORA is a directory of international organizations that recognize, authorize, or certify medical schools and/or medical education programs. DORA is an informational resource only and accrediting bodies listed in DORA have not been reviewed or recognized by FAIMER. The list provides the viewer with the name of the accrediting entity in each country listed.