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The Caribbean Accreditation Authority for Education in Medicine and other Health Professions (CAAM-HP) is an accrediting body for the education programmes and schools of medicine, dentistry, veterinary medicine, nursing and other health professions in the 15 member nations of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM).[1][2] CAAM-HP was established in 2003[3] and is headquartered in Kingston, Jamaica.[1]

The US Department of Education's National Committee on Foreign Medical Education and Accreditation (NCFMEA) recognizes CAAM-HP as a standard comparable to the standards used in medical schools in the United States.[4]

Background and role

From 1948 until 2001, universities and colleges in the Commonwealth Caribbean could and often were accredited by the General Medical Council (GMC) of the United Kingdom. Primarily this occurred with the University of the West Indies (UWI) receiving full accreditation (with periodic visits and assessments as changes were made in medical education) and with some of the other schools established since 1974 in the Commonwealth Caribbean receiving limited registration status from the GMC.[1][5] This international recognition of their degrees meant that the medical education programme offered at UWI allowed graduates to register freely in the UK and many other Commonwealth countries in order to practice.[1][5]

This practice by the GMC however was ended in 2001 as it sought to replace the original two-tier system of registration of overseas qualified doctors with a single method in keeping with European Union regulations regarding academic and professional training programmes. As a result the proposed system rendered unnecessary the need to continue accrediting overseas institutions, even those with previously recognized qualifications, leaving the UWI and other institutions without accreditation by an internationally recognized body.[1][5]

In parallel to these events there was a raft of establishments of "offshore" medical schools in the Caribbean starting in the 1970s, which catered almost exclusively to international students mainly from the United States and Canada.[1] These medical schools were easier to establish in the Caribbean than in mainland North America, in part because unlike the medical schools in the US or Canada, they are not required by the Liaison Committee on Medical Education (LCME; the accrediting body for medical education in the US and Canada) to do research and perform clinical training. Sometimes only needing a business licence in order to be opened, these offshore medical schools had been able to list in the International Medical Education Directory (IMED), which qualifies their students to undergo the Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates (ECFMG) certification process in order to begin residency or fellowship programmes in the US or Canada. The departments of education from both United States and Canada contacted the ECFMG and have required that all Caribbean offshore medical schools be at the standard of United States and Canadian medical schools.[6] The ultimate outgrowth of this over the time was the announcement in 2010 by the ECFMG that effective in 2023, physicians applying for ECFMG Certification will be required to graduate from a medical school that has been appropriately accredited through a formal process that uses criteria comparable to those established for US medical schools by the LCME or that uses other globally accepted criteria, such as those put forth by the World Federation for Medical Education (WFME).[7]

As a result of these developments up to 2001-2002 and the regional desire to ensure quality education and training within CARICOM for the UWI and other medical schools in the Caribbean, such as those established the University of Suriname in 1969 and at the University of Guyana in 1985, as well as the offshore medical schools, a regional accreditation system was established.[1][5]

Thus, the Agreement establishing the Caribbean Accreditation Authority for Education in Medicine and Other Health Professions[8] was signed in November 2003 by 5 CARICOM Member States[9] and the authority itself was launched shortly after in July 2004.[1] As of 2019, 13 CARICOM Member States have signed up to the Agreement on CAAM-HP and are participating territories: Antigua & Barbuda, The Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Dominica, Grenada, Guyana, Jamaica, St. Kitts & Nevis, St. Lucia, St. Vincent & the Grenadines, Suriname, and Trinidad & Tobago.[9] Participation is open to all other CARICOM Member States and Associate Member States according to the Agreement,[8] with the British Virgin Islands becoming the first Associate Member to sign on to the Agreement on 18 February 2020 at the 31st Intersessional Meeting of the CARICOM Heads of Government.[10][11] On 20 May 2019, CAAM-HP also signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Ministry of Higher Education Science and Technology (MESCYT) of the Dominican Republic in Santo Domingo to provide accreditation services for medical training programmes and to facilitate their acceptance by the 11 Universities of the Dominican Republic that have medical schools.[12]

Once established Authority looked at the standards of the GMC and the LCME, and developed comparable standards.[5] These standards and processes were then adjudged to be compliant with international standards in 2012, following a review in 2011 by the WFME and the Foundation for Advancement of International Medical Education and Research (FAIMER).[13] With such international recognition granted only a few years after ECFMG's announcement concerning the need for prospective applicants to have graduated from appropriately accredited schools, it meant that CAAM-HP could continue the process of accrediting the Caribbean offshore medical schools as well as regional medical schools.

Students of those schools that do not receive accreditation from CAAM-HP or another regional accrediting body recognized by the World Federation for Medical Education (WFME)[14] will not be able to complete neither USMLE examinations nor MCCQE, and therefore will not be able to become United States or Canadian doctors, if their school is not certified by the year 2023.[15]

List of schools assessed by CAAM-HP

Medical schools

School Status Last updated
All American Institute of Medical Sciences Initial provisional accreditation July 2016
All Saints University School of Medicine Not Accredited July 2017
American International Medical University Accreditation Denied July 2018
American University of Antigua Accredited for 4 years, 2018-2022 July 2018
Initial Provisional Accreditation for 2 years, 2018-2020 July 2018
Avalon University School of Medicine Accredited July 2019
Accreditation withdrawn July 2009
Caribbean Medical University Accreditation denied July 2018
Initial provisional accreditation withdrawn July 2015
Instituto Tecnológico de Santo Domingo Accreditation with conditions for 5 years, 2018-2023 July 2018
International American University College of Medicine Provisional Accreditation for 2 years, 2018 - 2020 July 2018
Ross University School of Medicine Accredited with conditions extended until December 2019 July 2018
Saint James School of Medicine, Anguilla Initial provisional accreditation on probation extended for 1 year July 2018
Spartan Health Sciences University Provisional accreditation extended, 2016-2018 July 2017
St. George’s University School of Medicine Accredited with conditions, 2015-2019 July 2018
The University of the West Indies School of Medicine Accredited with conditions, 2018-2021 June 2018
Trinity School of Medicine Accredited with conditions, 2017-2019 July 2018
University of Guyana School of Medicine Accreditation with Conditions, 2017-2021 July 2018
University of Science, Arts and Technology Not accredited June 2012
Not accredited June 2015
Windsor University School of Medicine Not accredited July 2018
Xavier University School of Medicine Accreditation with Conditions for 3 years, 2018-2021 July 2018

Dental schools

School Status Last updated
The University of the West Indies School of Dentistry, Jamaica Accreditation with conditions, 2017-2019 July 2018
The University of the West Indies School of Dentistry, Trinidad Accreditation on probation extended, 2016-2018 July 2017
The University of Guyana School of Dentistry, Guyana Accreditation denied July 2018

Veterinary schools

School Status Last updated
The University of the West Indies School of Veterinary Medicine Accredited with conditions, 2016-2020 July 2018

Schools in CARICOM member countries not appearing above have either not been assessed by CAAM-HP or are pending accreditation.

See also


External links