MedUni Vienna’s diploma program in human medicine receives US recognition

Bild: MedUni Wien/feelimage
Bild: MedUni Wien/feelimage

The diploma program in human medicine at the Medical University of Vienna was accredited by the accreditation agency AHPGS in summer 2023 according to international standards without any conditions. In the course of this pilot procedure at MedUni Vienna, the AHPGS has now received the necessary recognition from the WFME itself and thus the authorization for WFME accreditation. This means that MedUni Vienna students and graduates will be able to study, work and conduct research in the USA without restriction from 2024.

Following a decision by the US Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates (ECFMG), accreditation by an accreditation agency recognized by the World Federation for Medical Education (WFME) will be a prerequisite from 2024 in order to take the USMLE (United States Medical Licensing Examination) and thus be able to practice medicine in the USA.

The accreditation process for MedUni Vienna was successfully completed in summer 2023 by the AHPGS (accreditation agency in the field of health and social affairs) on the basis of the "European Standard and Guidelines for Quality Assurance in the European Higher Education Area (ESG)" and already taking into account the "Basic Medical Education WFME Global Standards for Quality Improvement" defined by the World Federation for Medical Education (WFME) without any conditions.

With this accreditation process of MedUni Vienna, the AHPGS in turn applied to the World Federation for Medical Education (WFME) for recognition status. The Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates (ECFMG) is responsible for exam admission and coordination for the USMLE, which entitles graduates to practise medicine in the USA. The World Federation for Medical Education (WFME) is one of the organizations approved by the ECFMG for the recognition of accreditation agencies for medical schools/universities. From 2024, accreditation by a WFME-recognized accreditation agency will be a prerequisite for admission to the United States Medical Licensing Examination (USMLE ) and thus for medical practice in the USA (applies to students as well as graduates of the diploma program in human medicine).

This procedure has confirmed the international significance of MedUni Vienna’s Diploma Program in Human Medicine, which is now listed for the first time in the ECFMG database "Medical Schools Eligible for 2024 Pathways".

Anita Rieder, Vice Rector for Teaching at MedUni Vienna, is delighted with the confirmation that MedUni Vienna meets the high standards required for the education of medical students. "The fact that graduates and students of MedUni Vienna are admitted to work and conduct research at top institutions in the USA shows that the medical degree program at MedUni Vienna meets the highest international quality standards. We are the only university in Austria that meets these criteria, Charité is the only university in Germany, and in Switzerland the universities of Zurich, Lausanne, Bern, Basel, Geneva and Fribourg do so. It is important for a medical university because, of course, stays abroad are part of the career path for doctors at MedUni Vienna, including traditionally at renowned US universities. From 2024, doctors and medical students at MedUni Vienna will be able to continue this tradition without any hurdles."

Voluntary procedure for quality assurance

There is no legal obligation for public universities to accredit a degree program or curriculum; however, such projects can be part of the performance agreement with the responsible federal ministry (BMBWF). In any case, this is a sign of the Medical University of Vienna’s understanding of quality. In line with this approach, MedUni Vienna’s diploma program in dentistry was also successfully accredited for the first time in 2020 (by the German Accreditation, Certification and Quality Assurance Institute, ACQUIN for short) - without any conditions (also in accordance with WFME and ESG standards).

Related links:

o https://www.ecfmg.org/accr­editation/
o https://wfme.org/recognition/e­cfmg-2023/
o https://wfme.org/recognitio­n/accredit­ing-agenci­es-status/
o List of Agencies with Recognition Status or applying
https://wfme.org/wp-cont­ent/upload­s/2017/12/­List-of-Ag­encies-wit­h-Recognit­ion-Status­-and-apply­ing-11.pdf
https://www.ecfmg.org/certific­ation-path­ways/pathw­ay-schools­.php?order­by=country