The Foundation for Advancement of International Medical Education and Research (FAIMER®) was established in 2000 by the Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates (ECFMG®).
The idea of establishing a separate foundation developed from ECFMG’s 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 pursued 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.
In July 2000, the ECFMG Board of Trustees approved a resolution to establish an ECFMG foundation, and FAIMER was incorporated as a nonprofit foundation of ECFMG in September of that year. 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 identified 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, ensured 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. Just two years later, FAIMER approved the development of 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.
To support health professions educators, FAIMER established the FAIMER Institute fellowship program in 2001. Since then, FAIMER has expanded its educational offerings for the world’s health professions educators, including the addition of nine FAIMER Regional Institutes throughout the world. FAIMER’s educational programs have graduated more than 2,000 alumni from nearly 60 countries.
In 2021, FAIMER celebrated 20 years with a virtual conference that highlighted its past, present, and future directions. These future directions, outlined in FAIMER’s 2020 strategic plan, focus on expanding the curriculum and global reach of the International FAIMER Institute and Regional Institutes, developing new tools to assess international medical graduates based on entrustable professional activities, and creating a web-based platform to provide information on worldwide health care education.
In 2021, FAIMER and ECFMG announced the creation of Intealth, a new, overarching identity to reflect the integration of their operations and the enhanced potential it offers to support the health professions worldwide. This new identity marks the success of a multi-year business transformation effort on the part of FAIMER and ECFMG—a strategic process to ensure their continued growth and ability to meet the needs of global stakeholders. As members of Intealth, FAIMER and ECFMG share a common vision and pursue complementary missions. Read more about our Vision & Missions.
[Last update: February 28, 2022]