Foundation for Advancement of International Medical Education and Research


The Foundation for Advancement of International Medical Education and Research (FAIMER®) was established in 2000 by the Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates (ECFMG®). FAIMER promotes excellence in international health professions education through programmatic and research activities.

The idea of establishing a separate foundation developed from the Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates’ (ECFMG) long-standing commitment to promoting excellence in international medical education. This commitment began with ECFMG’s first faculty exchange program in 1983. In the years that followed, ECFMG increased resources for exchange programs, introduced consultation services, and considered a number of research initiatives related to international medical schools and their graduates. However, ECFMG’s Board of Trustees believed that more could be accomplished by a separate organization with dedicated resources focused on the international health professions community. Discussions began in early 2000, and in July of that year, the ECFMG Board of Trustees approved a resolution to establish an ECFMG foundation.

FAIMER was incorporated as a nonprofit foundation of ECFMG in September 2000, and FAIMER’s Board of Directors held its first organizational meeting in December 2000.

Beginning in 2001, FAIMER’s Directors initiated strategic planning to define the Foundation’s focus and priorities. These planning sessions culminated in 2004 with the adoption of a formal strategic plan that identifies the Foundation’s areas of thematic and geographic focus, as well as short- and long-term goals for each area of activity. A number of key staff appointments and reorganization of FAIMER’s Board, both accomplished in 2004, ensure the expertise and oversight required to support the activities outlined in the plan.

In keeping with its goal of developing resources on medical education worldwide, FAIMER introduced the International Medical Education Directory (IMED) in 2002. In 2004, FAIMER approved the development of a another resource, the Directory of Organizations that Recognize/Accredit Medical Schools. In 2014, FAIMER and the World Federation for Medical Education (WFME) announced the launch of the World Directory of Medical Schools. This resource is the result of an agreement to merge the organizations’ respective directories—FAIMER’s IMED and WFME’s Avicenna Directory—to produce a single comprehensive resource on undergraduate medical education worldwide. In 2016, the World Directory Subscription Service was launched. With respect to its commitment to create resources for health professions educators, the transition of ECFMG’s educational programs for the international health professions community, which began in 2001, has been completed, and the Foundation established a new fellowship program, the FAIMER Institute, in 2001. FAIMER has aligned these programs to create a pathway for educational leadership for international health professions educators. In the realm of research, FAIMER staff have identified important questions regarding international medical graduates and medical education and have engaged with the data resources and organizational partners that will enable meaningful research on these issues.

[Last update: October 19, 2021]

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