PAMED joins AMA Amicus Brief Regarding the Responsibilities of Certification Entities

Last Updated: Sep 9, 2020

gavel-stethoscope-grayAn amicus brief filed by the American Medical Association (AMA) to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit, which PAMED has joined, seeks to overturn a ruling by the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania that certified a class of plaintiffs in a case against the Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates (ECFMG).

In this case, the district court certified a class of patient plaintiffs in a suit against the ECFMG, authorizing the plaintiffs’ class action to proceed. The patients alleged that the ECFMG twice improperly certified a doctor, accused of sexual misconduct, who applied using false names. 

The case in question is specific to the ECFMG and does not involve the doctor in question. The amicus brief focuses on the role of the ECFMG in certifying foreign medical graduates, a process that does not vouch for the graduate’s criminal or moral character. 

The concern in this case is two-fold. First, that class action certification is inappropriate in this case as any emotional distress that may have been inflicted should be determined on a case-by-case basis and not grouped together in a class action case. Second, if a certification entity is required to vouch for an individual’s character, this could have ramifications for other certification entities besides the ECFMG.

PAMED will continue to monitor this case and provide updates as they occur. View a copy of the amicus brief here.

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