ECFMG Medical School Accreditation Requirement Moved to 2024

The Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates (ECFMG) has announced plans to delay implementation of previously announced changes to its accreditation regulations — due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

ECFMG had previously announced that, starting in 2023, applicants for ECFMG Certification would be required to be a student or graduate of a medical school that is appropriately accredited. More specifically, the medical school must be accredited by an agency recognized by the World Federation for Medical Education (WFME). To date, 21 accrediting agencies have received WFME recognition, with many others in process, according to ECFMG.

Recognizing that many countries have been forced to suspend or limit their accreditation efforts due to COVID-19, the ECFMG will move the implementation of its new requirement to 2024. In a statement, the ECFMG said it “will announce an effective date as we approach 2024,” and that it will continue to reassess the timeline for implementation, as needed.

Source: ECFMG website announcement, May 13, 2020

Interim CEO Appointed to Medical Council of Ireland

The Medical Council of Ireland has appointed Philip Brady as Interim CEO to replace CEO Bill Prasifka, who left the Council to become Executive Director of the Medical Board of California. Brady, who took over the position on May 31, will serve as Interim CEO while the Council recruits a permanent CEO.

Brady is currently the Director of Registration and Business Process Improvement for the Medical Council, having joined the Medical Council in February 2008.

Source: Medical Council of Ireland news release, March 5, 2020

New Zealand Medical Council Launches Discussion Paper on Artificial Intelligence

With Artificial Intelligence (AI) increasingly being used for health care in New Zealand, the Medical Council of New Zealand has distributed a discussion paper on the topic eliciting input from a variety of audiences to help guide that country's AI development.

The Council calls the paper a first step towards developing further AI guidelines in New Zealand that calls upon physicians, other health professionals, patients and the wider public to “collectively consider the issues that AI raises in health care.” The paper summarizes guidelines for the use of AI, including measures aimed at patient safety, informed consent, privacy, use of data and medical ethics. It raises several questions for readers to respond to, including:

  1. With the growth and increasing use of AI in health care, we consider that doctors will need clear guidance on the appropriate use of AI. If we develop guidelines that reflect the principles of good medical practice by outlining a number of factors that doctors should consider when using AI in health care, how effective will that be as a starting point?

  2. What other factors or principles should we include if we go on to develop guidance for doctors on the appropriate use of AI in health care?

  3. What role do you think the Medical Council should have in relation to the use of AI by doctors?

  4. What role does the medical profession have to ensure the safe and effective use of AI in patient care? What are a doctor's obligations?

Respondents to the Council's request for input have until August 7, 2020, to share their thoughts.

To read the full discussion paper, visit

Source: Medical Council of New Zealand website announcement, June 25, 2020