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Important ECFMG update in regard to Syria

Dear SAMS members,


Over the last few weeks, the ECMFG changed their policy toward applicants with addresses in Syria due to sanctions on Syria by the U.S. Department of the Treasury, OFAC (Office of Foreign Assets Control) after receiving advice from their legal counsel. This new policy means that any Syrian medical student or graduate who resides in Syria can no longer be certified by ECFMG to take the USMLE exam.


SAMS has worked with the ECFMG over the last a few months to assist Syrian medical graduates on a variety of issues during their medical diploma certification verification process and has developed strong relationships with some key individuals in the ECFMG.


After receiving several complaints from Syrian graduates that their applications to take the USMLE exams were put on hold for extended periods- and more recently denied- SAMS has officially approached the ECFMG to investigate this issue.


After several communications with the ECFMG, SAMS held a meeting on Friday March 22, 2013 that included two of SAMS' Board members and SAMS' Director of Advocacy, with the ECFMG Associate Vice President for Operations and the ECMFG Manager of Registration and Credentials Services. The ECFMG administration explained that they are also concerned with the sanctions and have worked out different solutions that would allow them to certify Syrian medical graduates to take USMLE exams and provide them with other services as long as their addresses are outside Syria.


Based on OFAC's recommendation to SAMS, SAMS urged the ECFMG to apply for a special license from OFAC that will allow them to provide services inside Syria, and the ECFMG promised to pass that to their legal counsel for consideration.


A follow-up meeting with ECFMG is scheduled next week.


Members of SAMS' leadership are in continuous contact with Syrian medical students and graduates affected by this issue to follow up on the matter and provide advice until the issue is hopefully resolved.


If you have any questions, inquires or ideas please contact us


Thank you


Syrian American Medical Society

Board of Directors

About SAMS:

The Syrian American Medical Society (SAMS) is independent, non-profit, professional, medical and humanitarian organization that represents medical professionals of Syrian descent.Through its rich network within the US and in Syria, SAMS organizes annual medical missions to Syria, provides professional and educational programs to Syrian physicians and organizes donations of medicine and medical supplies to local hospitals and underprivileged families in Syria and North America.

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