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The Florida Statutes

The 2023 Florida Statutes (including Special Session C)

Chapter 458
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F.S. 458.314
458.314 Certification of foreign educational institutions.
(1) The Legislature recognizes the need to ensure that graduates of foreign medical schools who have received an education which is reasonably comparable to that of similar accredited institutions in the United States and which adequately prepares its students for the practice of medicine shall be subject to the same licensure requirements as graduates of accredited medical schools or colleges. It is the purpose of this section to provide for the evaluation of foreign medical schools and the certification of those foreign medical schools which provide an education which is reasonably comparable to that of similar accredited institutions in the United States and which adequately prepares its students for the practice of medicine.
(2) The department shall be responsible for the certification of foreign medical schools based on standards established pursuant to subsection (4). The department may contract with outside consultants or a national professional organization to survey and evaluate foreign medical schools. Such consultant or organization shall report to the department regarding its findings in the survey and evaluation.
(3) The department shall establish a technical advisory group to review and comment upon the survey and evaluation of a foreign medical school contracted for by the department pursuant to subsection (2) prior to any final action by the department regarding certification of the foreign medical school. The technical advisory group shall be selected by the department and shall consist of four physicians, two of whom shall be selected from a list of five recognized United States medical educators recommended by the foreign school seeking certification. None of the members of the technical advisory group shall be affiliated with the school seeking certification.
(4) Any foreign medical school which wishes to be certified pursuant to this section shall make application to the department for such certification, which shall be based upon a finding that the educational program of the foreign medical school is reasonably comparable to that of similar accredited institutions in the United States and adequately prepares its students for the practice of medicine. Curriculum, faculty qualifications, student attendance, plant and facilities, and other relevant factors shall be reviewed and evaluated. The board with the cooperation of the department shall identify, by rule, the standards and review procedures and methodology to be used in the certification process consistent with this subsection. The department shall not grant certification if deficiencies found are of such magnitude as to prevent the students in the school from receiving an educational base suitable for the practice of medicine.
(5) Periodic surveys and evaluations of all certified schools shall be made to ensure continued compliance with this section. Certification shall include provisional and full certification. The provisional form of certification shall be for a period determined by the department not to exceed 3 years and shall be granted to an institution, in accordance with rule, to provide reasonable time for the school seeking permanent certification to overcome deficiencies found by the department. Prior to the expiration of a provisional certification and before the full certification is granted, the school shall be required to submit evidence that deficiencies noted at the time of initial application have been remedied. A school granted full certification shall provide evidence of continued compliance with this section. In the event that the department denies certification or recertification, the department shall give the school a specific listing of deficiencies which caused the department to disapprove it and what the department will require for compliance and shall permit the school, upon request, to demonstrate by satisfactory evidence, within 90 days, that it has remedied the deficiencies enumerated by the department.
(6) A school shall pay a registration fee established by rule of the department, not to exceed $1,000, at the time of application for certification and shall pay all reasonable costs and expenses the department expects to incur, in an amount not to exceed $40,000, for the conduct of the certification survey.
(7) The department shall renew a certification upon receipt of a renewal application from an institution and a fee not to exceed $500. Each fully certified institution shall provide a renewal application every 7 years. Any certification which is not renewed shall expire.
(8) Each institution which has been surveyed before October 1, 1986, by the Commission to Evaluate Foreign Medical Schools or the Commission on Foreign Medical Education of the Federation of State Medical Boards, Inc., and whose survey and supporting documentation demonstrates that it provides an educational program, including curriculum, reasonably comparable to that of similar accredited institutions in the United States shall be considered fully certified, for purposes of chapter 86-245, Laws of Florida. 8, 26, ch. 86-245; s. 4, ch. 91-429.