US deadline looms for local, regional medical schools to gain accreditation

As the 2023 deadline for international medical graduates to be certified to practise or enter residency programmes in the United States of America (USA) approaches, Caribbean states are seeking accreditation for their medical schools from the Jamaica-based Caribbean Accreditation Authority for Education in Medicine and other Health Professions (CAAM-HP).

In this regard, CAAM-HP recently signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the Government of the Dominican Republic to accredit 11 medical schools in that country.

“This explains the increasing demand for CAAM-HP’s services not only from the Dominican Republic but also from Costa Rica,” explained Executive Director Lorna Parkins. She, along with chairperson, Professor Emeritus Marlene Hamilton, was present in Santo Domingo for the May 20 MOU signing with Alejandrina Germain Mejia, minister of higher education, science and technology in the Dominican Republic.

CAAM-HP, a Caribbean Community (Caricom) affiliate, is the first accrediting agency worldwide to have been recognised by the World Federation of Medical Education in collaboration with the Foundation for the Advancement of International Medical Education and Research. It is the only Caribbean agency to have achieved this distinction.

Parkins pointed out that CAAM-HP is recognised by the governments of the USA, United Kingdom, and Canada. The agency has successfully represented several Caribbean governments and their medical schools before the Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates in the USA.

In addition, the US-based National Committee on Foreign Medical Education and Accreditation has approved the accrediting standards and procedures of the Liaison Committee on Medical Education that are utilised by CAAM-HP.

Established by Caricom 15 years ago, CAAM-HP is empowered to ensure that health education institutions operating within the grouping comply with international quality assurance standards. Initially, The University of the West Indies, off-shore medical schools, and others benefited from its services. Subsequently, the agency expanded its reach and now also serves the Dutch and Spanish language groups in the Caribbean.

“Work by CAAM-HP protects the Jamaican, Caribbean public and students; and assures the portability of health care qualifications by ensuring medical, dental, veterinary and other health education is of the highest standard,” said Parkins.

She encouraged institutions operating in Jamaica and the region that fall in this category to seek the services of CAAM-HP. For more information, visit www.caam-hp.