Accreditation and Official Designations
Oceania University of Medicine was granted formal accreditation by the board of directors of the Philippine Accrediting Association of Schools, Colleges and Universities (PAASCU) at its November 26, 2010, meeting. This achievement makes OUM the only internationally-accredited medical school in the South Pacific.
A final site visit in late October 2010 by the five-member accreditation team to OUM’s campus in Apia, Samoa and with alumni and students in Australia and New Zealand culminated three years of self-study and 10 months addressing recommendations made following a 2009 preliminary site visit to the campus and to clinical sites in North America.
The team of reviewers—deans, faculty, and administrators of medical schools in the Philippines—pored through documentation that detailed the University’s policies, procedures, and programs in eight areas: faculty, curriculum & instruction, clinical facilities, research, students, library, administration, and facilities and other resources. Site visitors met with students, alumni, faculty, and administrators responsible for those areas to confirm their effectiveness and to verify student satisfaction.
With four distinct levels of accreditation, PAASCU will evaluate the University for re-accreditation in 2013 to achieve the second level, effective for a further period of five years. The third level emphasizes high standards in instruction and visible community service as well as strong traditions in research, faculty development, high performance of graduates, linkages with other schools, and/or extensive learning resources. The fourth and highest level of accreditation recognizes substantial, excellent outcomes in all areas.
PAASCU is one of 20 international accrediting bodies, recognized by the National Committee on Foreign Medical Education and Accreditation (NCFMEA), a committee of the United States Department of Education. NCFMEA is responsible for assuring that foreign accrediting bodies properly review their respective medical schools in a manner comparable to those in the US. In some US states, physicians educated at a foreign school can only apply for medical licensure if they graduated from an accredited medical school. Accreditation should also increase the number of public and private financial aid opportunities available to OUM students.
Throughout the accreditation process and beyond, OUM remains listed by the World Health Organization (WHO) in its Directory of World Medical Schools and in the International Medical Education Directory (IMED), a publication of the Education Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates (ECFMG) and its Foundation for Advancement of International Medical Education and Research (FAIMER). Being listed in these publications is another prerequisite in most US states for foreign medical school graduates who apply for licensure.
Students and graduates of foreign schools acknowledged by the ECFMG are eligible to sit for the United States Medical Licensing Exam (USMLE). In addition to passing the USMLE, students of foreign medical schools must obtain ECFMG certification in order to begin a residency program at a US hospital. The letter below confirms that OUM has met the requirements for its eligible students to obtain ECFMG certification.
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