We are delighted to see that OET has been formally recognised in the US.
OET Medicine is recognised by the Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates (ECFMG). OET Nursing is recognised by the Florida Board of Nursing and the Oregon State Board of Nursing. No doubt more will follow their lead.
OET Medicine recognition
ECFMG evaluates the qualifications of international medical graduates (IMGs) before they enter graduate medical education (GME) and provide supervised patient care on residency or fellowship programs. IMGs comprise nearly one-quarter of the U.S. physician workforce, so ECFMG is a vital part of the US healthcare system.
In recent years, IMGs have been required to pass Step 1, Step 2 Clinical Knowledge (CK), and Step 2 Clinical Skills (CS) of the 3-Step United States Medical Licensing Examination® (USMLE®) to be certified by ECFMG. USMLE is an exam which allows IMGs to obtain an unrestricted license to practice medicine in the United States.
However, Step 2 CS has been suspended for the next 12-18 months by the USMLE program due to Covid-19. ECFMG has consequently identified five pathways to allow qualified IMGs who have not passed Step 2 CS to meet the requirements for ECFMG Certification and provide assurance that IMGs are ready to enter supervised training.
As part of this, all applicants pursuing one of the five pathways are required to perform satisfactorily in OET Medicine to demonstrate they have suitable English language proficiency to enter GME. All pathway applicants, regardless of citizenship, native language, or medical school language of instruction, must satisfy this requirement.
ECFMG chose OET Medicine as it is designed specifically for physicians (medical doctors). Applicants must achieve a minimum 350 or Grade B in each of the four papers, Listening, Reading, Writing, and Speaking.
Test dates for OET Medicine are available for ECFMG applicants beginning in August 2020.
OET Nursing recognition
OET’s approval by Nursing regulators in the states of Florida and Oregon will be written into the respective states’ rules by the end of 2020. The specific dates will be announced when confirmed.
Nurses applying to Oregon must achieve a minimum of a Grade B or score of 350 in each of the four papers, while those nurses applying for licensure in Florida must achieve a minimum of a Grade C+ or score of 300 in the four papers.
We fully support the growing recognition of OET among healthcare regulators around the world as the preferred way of assessing whether a healthcare professional can give safe and effective care in English.
OET is healthcare-specific and, for 12 professions, job-specific in the letters that candidates write and the role plays they participate in. SLC has been helping healthcare professionals and students around the world improve their professional English for over seven years now through the courses we publish and the training we provide. Since OET was recognised in the UK in 2017, we have worked with hospitals, medical universities, healthcare recruitment companies and thousands of students and see close up how OET is a language test that makes sense to candidates. Those preparing for the test understand how it relates to what they do in practice and how the language skills they develop will support their work.
This is an exciting development and one we hope presages a more widespread adoption of OET across the US.
Based at the University of Sussex, SLC is the UK’s leading provider of Medical English, OET and IELTS test preparation training to the global healthcare sector. SLC was the first accredited OET Premium Preparation Provider in Europe and is an OET All Stars provider. Thousands of medical professionals and students take SLC’s courses every year.