Meetings Minutes

Digest of the transcript of Minutes of the Invitational Meeting of International Medical Schools Chartered in Nations That Have Been Found To Have Accreditation Standards Comparable To Those Used In the United States by the United States Department of Education and Who Have Been Reviewed By A State and Approved to Conduct Clinical Education There.

March 17, 2005

Grenada Mission to the United Nations 


American University of the Caribbean 
Yife Tien, President
Bob Black, JD

Our Lady of Fatima 
Juliet Santos, PhD. President 
Vladimir Olivares

Ross University 
Thomas Shepherd, PhD. President 
Nancy Perri, MD, Clinical Dean

Saba University 
David Fredrick PhD. President

St. George's University 
Charles Modica, JD. Chancellor 
Bernard Ferguson, JD. Director of Government and External Affairs

St. Matthews University 
Jerry Thornton, PhD. President 
Gordon Green, MD, Executive Dean

Universidad Autónoma de Guadalajara 
Ricardo Del Castillo, Associate Dean / International Students Affairs

Universities of Lubin and Silesia
Representative, Hope Medical Institute, Mahendra Patel,

The Host of the meeting, Charles Modica opened the session. He invited us to create an Association to serve as an instrument of accreditation for those institutions that offers a medical education to serve patients internationally or who seek world wide recognition. As a preliminary step he recommended this association seek recognition in the United States. 

Bernard Ferguson, acting as temporary chair mentioned that the requirements taken under consideration for this invitation to become a part of this association were: 

  1. Be accredited by the Department of Education (DOE) through National Committee on Foreign Medical Education and Accreditation (NCFMEA).
  2. Be approved by at least one state of the United States of America.

Bernard Ferguson said in order to be known as a serious institution it requires a total transparency, clarity and openness for all of the world to see. 

Several experts on International medical accreditation were invited to participate at this organizational meeting. Dr. Lynn Eckhert, who is part of the Harvard Medical International and has a significant interest in establishing quality standards for Medical Education, felt the organizers should do the initial basic planning. She expressed an interest in future developments and would like to be kept informed. Due To the short notice of the meeting Dr. Hans Karle, President of the World Federation of Medical Education [WFME] indicated he could not attend. However, he asked to be informed of the results of the meeting for possible cooperation in the future. Also invited was Mrs. Bonnie LeBold, Executive Director of the NCFMEA. She expressed an interest in this developing Association. We believe it may be helpful to NCFMEA in fulfilling its role. Mr. Ferguson thought that Mrs. LeBold will at some future time approve the concept and participate.

He also spoke about all the tasks that must be carried out to establish this association.

In order to determine the need of the creation of this association, he referenced several disturbing situations being faced by state licensing boards with increasing frequency. Examples of this were; the articles about disciplined doctors that was published by The Hartford Courant newspaper; Dr. Hallock, Education Commission on Foreign Medical Graduates (ECFMG) President, gave the passing percentages for the United States Medical Licensing Exam, Step1 exam in 1997 and 2003 to the NCFMEA members. That data demonstrated that United States-International Medical Graduate's scores were declining. It also demonstrated the need of to have NCFMEA's comments on this global accrediting organization. Computer generated distance medical education is becoming very popular. Obviously, some schools are using it excessively. Yet the extent of its effectiveness in medical education hasn't been determined by the Federation of State Medical Board (FSMB) members. Reference was made to the questionnaire prepared by Dr. McKinney and sent by FAIMER (part of ECFMG) to some for profit foreign schools. It illustrated the increasing need for information on the education provided by foreign medical schools. This international accrediting organization proposes to provide some answers.

Comment was made about the increasing mass of untapped data within the National Practitioner Data Bank. Soon data will be available to identify schools whose graduates are performing well and those who are performing poorly. This data has been collected during the last 15 years. Previous malpractice studies indicated there were schools whose graduates were performing well while others were performing poorly.

An American Association of Medical Colleges official commented about the "Questionable Quality" of Medical for-profit Schools. Mr. Ferguson mentioned that is who and where we are. He reviewed 2002 AMA statistics that reported the numbers of foreign medical schools graduates practicing medicine in the United States by school. The schools in this group were significantly represented.

Thomas Monahan, Executive Director of New York State Medical Board [NYSMB] spoke about the history and the need of regulating licenses as well as approximate numbers of US-IMG's to whom licenses have been granted in New York State.. He also spoke of the positive aspects of the creation of this Association and the fact that he is willing to provide advise. He provided our group with the benefit of his experience with the NYSMB. He spoke about the creation of an accrediting organization, standards, and the importance of credibility.

The following specific voluntary committees were created by consensus:

  1. Organizational Structure Committee, Mr. Vladimir Olivares as Chairman. This committee will consider and recommend the legal form or type of legal entity that is most appropriate for its objectives. The agreed name will be, "International Association of Medical Colleges" (IAOMC) it will be NOT-FOR-PROFIT, and the organization that will apply for non Governmental status at the United Nations. All of the present members will be considered temporary until have completed the accreditation process and been fully accredited. After all members are reviewed a democratic general assembly will be established. It will be located in New York State, and seek registration by Regents The association will be governed by adopted bylaws that will succeed into the Regent approved registration.

  2. Dr. Nancy Perry was appointed as Chairman to carry out the comparative study of quality standards in Medical Education that are applied by several agencies. The agency standards chosen to be used will be the LCME, WFME, NCFMEA as well as that of states as NY, FL, and CA. for the establishment of this associations own standards. The process used by these agencies would be comparable to those used by our association.. Dr. Perry set 8 weeks for the members of the voluntary committee to obtain the first composite document. 

  3. Bernard Ferguson was appointed as Chairman for Advisory on Scope and Accreditation.

A budget proposal was presented and accepted determining the amount that each founding institution has to provide to support this association for the next two years. A budget was agreed upon.

It was agreed that all founding members would go through the accrediting process and there was a possibility some members will be found not in compliance with the adopted standards.

It was agreed that an invitation will be extended to all medical schools around the world to participate in this association. Any medical school that wishes to become a members would have to go through the accreditation process. as well as pay the membership annual fee plus an additional fee for each American student enrolled in each institution.
Next the Board of Directors and the administrative positions were elected. Mr. Thomas Monahan was proposed for the Executive Direction of the association once he retires from his present position at NYSMB; Ms. Karen Kirshenstein was proposed as Deputy Executive Director, based on her broad experience in this type of positions.

The ballot for the Board of Directors resulted as follows:

President Bernie Ferguson, JD
St. George's University

V.P. - Clinical Science Gordon Green, MD
St. Matthews University

V.P. - Basic Science Vladimir Olivares
Our Lady of Fatima

V.P. - Standards/Protocol Nancy Perri, MD
Ross University

Secretary Ricardo Del Castillo
Univ. Auto. de Guadalajara

Assistant Secretary David Fredrick, PhD
Saba University

Treasurer Yife Tien
American Univ. of Caribbean

Assistant Treasurer Mahendra Patel, 
Hope Medical Institute
Univ. of Lubin and Silesia

The session was adjourned 

Respectfully submitted,
Ricardo Del Castillo, Secretary