World Directory of Medical Schools
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Mission of the World Directory of Medical Schools

It is the mission of the World Directory of Medical Schools (World Directory) to list all of the medical schools in the world, with accurate, up-to-date, and comprehensive information on each school. To help and protect patients and to meet the needs of society, we need to know that a doctor has attended a genuine medical school of good standard, and has demonstrated the competence required to become a certified medical doctor. The validated information in the World Directory will enable students, faculty, medical regulatory agencies, and other stakeholders in society, to easily access information proving that a medical school exists and is of good quality.

The listing of a medical school in the World Directory of Medical Schools does not denote recognition, accreditation, or endorsement by the World Directory of Medical Schools or by its partner organizations, the World Federation for Medical Education (WFME) and the Foundation for Advancement of International Medical Education and Research (FAIMER). Similarly, the listing of a medical school in the World Directory of Medical Schools does not denote recognition, accreditation, or endorsement by any or all of the sponsors of the World Directory of Medical Schools, except where this is expressly stated either on the website of the World Directory or on the website or other literature of any sponsor.

Association of any medical school with FAIMER or WFME, whether as a member, a member of an associated network, or otherwise, is not related to the listing of the medical school in the World Directory of Medical Schools, or to the recognition, accreditation, or endorsement of the medical school.

About the World Directory

The World Directory is a joint venture of the World Federation for Medical Education (WFME) and the Foundation for Advancement of International Medical Education and Research (FAIMER). The World Directory has been created by merging FAIMER’s International Medical Education Directory (IMED) and WFME’s Avicenna Directory.

The World Directory defines a “medical school” as an educational institution that provides a complete or full program of instruction leading to a basic medical qualification; that is, a qualification that permits the holder to obtain a license to practice as a medical doctor or physician.

The data included at the initial publication of the World Directory were the combined data of IMED and Avicenna, as of the end of 2013. The World Directory team endeavors to keep the data current, by including new schools, bringing existing entries up to date, and correcting any errors or omissions that are identified. Data are collected by the World Directory through the WFME office in Ferney-Voltaire and the FAIMER office in Philadelphia.

Day-to-day management of the World Directory is the responsibility of the Management Committee, on which FAIMER and WFME are represented. The Management Committee is in turn advised by the Senior Advisory Committee, which includes representatives of WFME, FAIMER, and the sponsors of the directory. Most of the funding for the World Directory comes from sponsors of the directory.

Inquiries and other correspondence regarding the World Directory may be sent to info@wdoms.org.

History of the World Directory

The World Health Organization (WHO), early in its history, recognized the need for a reliable list of all of the world’s medical schools, to document where the world’s doctors were educated. With the support of member states, the first edition of the WHO World Directory of Medical Schools was published in 1953. Successive editions were published until the seventh and final print edition was published in 2000. From 2000-2007, the WHO published the directory electronically, along with updates received after the 2000 print publication.

In August 2007, the WHO signed an agreement with the University of Copenhagen to transfer responsibility for development and maintenance of the directory, which then became the Avicenna Directory, managed by the World Federation for Medical Education (WFME). The Avicenna Directory was opened in 2008, and was maintained by WFME from that date until the end of 2013.

The International Medical Education Directory (IMED) has been managed by the Foundation for Advancement of International Medical Education and Research (FAIMER), based in Philadelphia, since soon after the last printed edition of the WHO World Directory of Medical Schools. The information available in IMED is derived from data collected by the Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates (ECFMG) throughout its history of evaluating the medical education credentials of international medical graduates. Using these data as a starting point, FAIMER began developing IMED in 2001 and made it publicly available in April 2002.

The formation of the new World Directory of Medical Schools brings together the two existing world-wide directories of medical schools, Avicenna and IMED. The decision to merge the two directories followed a meeting of the interested parties in Copenhagen in September 2010. A Collaboration Agreement between WFME and FAIMER about this merger was finalized in March 2012. Representatives of both partner and sponsor organizations have met annually since 2013 to discuss details relating to the principles and operation of the World Directory, including the core data to be included on each medical school record, and the management and supervisory structure for the directory.

On April 4, 2014, the new World Directory of Medical Schools was published on this website. Since the initial publication of the directory, over 200 medical schools have been added, and many more existing school records have been updated with new information. On June 1, 2016, a Subscription Service was created that allows sponsors and paying organizations to download the entire World Directory in XML or CSV format. WFME and FAIMER continue to work together to collect new information about the world’s medical schools and add this information to the World Directory.



Last updated June 1, 2016.