Authors: Barbora Hrabalová and Sarah Williams Leng
How many medical schools are there in the world? What are the characteristics of these schools, and qualifications of their graduates? These are questions that should be reliably answered to effectively inform research and policy related to international medical education and the health workforce.
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. The World Directory has been developed through a partnership between the World Federation for Medical Education (WFME) and the Foundation for Advancement of International Medical Education and Research (FAIMER). It provides a comprehensive compilation of the information previously contained in the International Medical Education Directory (IMED) and Avicenna directories.
The World Directory currently includes information about more than 2,800 operational medical schools and over 100 more that are no longer operational. Each record highlights available school details including start year, school type, operational status and contact information. Programmatic details are also included: qualification title, program duration, and language of instruction, as well as available enrollment data. Since its inception in 2014, there have been over 400 medical schools added to the directory. Medical schools throughout the world are discovered through many sources, including students, graduates and official contacts of medical schools, professionals of the medical education community, as well as government authorities. Any such source of information which brings new schools to our attention is appreciated. These medical schools are then reviewed for eligibility: the directory includes only those medical schools providing a complete or full program of instruction leading to a basic medical qualification, one that permits the holder to obtain a license to practice as a medical doctor or physician. Before listing eligible schools in this directory, we must confirm the school’s operational status and recognition from an appropriate government agency or medical council.
The World Directory is freely available at www.wdoms.org. This directory website provides a search tool, allowing users to find medical schools by name, location (city and country), and operational status. Schools’ prior names and the names of universities with which they have been affiliated are also included in the directory and are used by the search function, so that schools may still be found even when the current name is not known. Those interested are encouraged to use the search function to review the directory records, including the school and program details pertaining to each school.
The World Directory is used by medical regulatory authorities and employers around the world to verify the existence of medical schools and the qualifications of their graduates. It is important to note that the listing of a medical school in the World Directory does not denote recognition, accreditation, or endorsement by the World Directory or by the partner organizations publishing this resource, WFME and FAIMER. Similarly, a listing does not denote recognition, accreditation, or endorsement by any or all of the sponsors of the World Directory, except where this is expressly stated by the sponsoring organization. Some of the directory’s sponsoring organizations have provided information regarding their stance on specific schools within the directory. Please refer to the Sponsor Notes tab of any school record of interest to review notes provided by World Directory sponsors on the eligibility of students and graduates to pursue opportunities in the country of the sponsoring organization.
Since the World Directory includes a great wealth of available data, we are offering an annual subscription service for the regulatory authorities, researchers, and other interested subscribers which will provide access to download all the information from the World Directory for an annual fee. Data files are available for download in CSV or XML format and are updated daily.
The World Directory staff is ready to answer any questions and new listing requests at firstname.lastname@example.org.