The World Health Organization (WHO), early in its history, recognized the need for a reliable list of all of the world’s medical schools, to dologocument where the world’s doctors were educated. With the support of member states, the first edition of the WHO World Directory of Medical Schools was published in 1953.
In August 2007, the WHO signed an agreement with the University of Copenhagen to transfer responsibility for development and maintenance of the directory, which then became the Avicenna Directory, managed by the World Federation for Medical Education (WFME). The Avicenna Directory was opened in 2008, and was maintained by WFME from that date until the end of 2013.
The International Medical Education Directory (IMED) has been managed by the Foundation for Advancement of International Medical Education and Research (FAIMER), based in Philadelphia, since soon after the last printed edition of the WHO World Directory of Medical Schools. The information available in IMED is derived from data collected by the Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates (ECFMG) throughout its history of evaluating the medical education credentials of international medical graduates. Using these data as a starting point, FAIMER began developing IMED in 2001 and made it publicly available in April 2002.
The formation of the new World Directory of Medical Schools brings together the two existing world-wide directories of medical schools, Avicenna and IMED. The decision to merge the two directories was taken in September 2010. A Collaboration Agreement between WFME and FAIMER about this merger was finalized in March 2012.