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Date Updated: September 29, 2017

International Foundations of Medicine (IFOM)

The International Foundations of Medicine (IFOM)

The IFOM® program provides accessible, high-quality examinations that help medical schools and other organizations around the world assess students’ knowledge and compare their performance against an international standard.

Launched in 2007, IFOM plays a key role in fulfilling NBME’s mission to protect the health of the global public through state-of-the-art assessments.

The IFOM program now comprises three exams:

Who Uses IFOM, and Why?

The IFOM exams are used by individuals and by organizations such as medical schools, internship and residency programs, and ministries of health or education for various purposes, including:

  • To test students’ knowledge before and/or after particular phases of education and training
  • To select candidates for training, such as internships or residencies, or for exchange programs
  • For regional or national certification
  • To help evaluate curriculum or other assessments
  • To benchmark students or programs against an international standard
  • To prepare students to take USMLE® Step 1 or Step 2 Clinical Knowledge

Language Availability

IFOM CSE and the Clinical Science Self-Assessment are both available in English, Spanish, and Portuguese.

Currently IFOM BSE is available only in English, but a Spanish version will be available in early 2018.

We can also translate IFOM exams into other languages in certain circumstances. Contact the IFOM team if you are interested in administering IFOM in a language other than those listed above.

Detailed information about all aspects of the program is available in these webpages as well as in the downloadable, printable International Foundations of Medicine Program Guide.



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