Up until the 1970s the first World Conferences on Medical Education were organised by the World Medical Association. The WMA maintained a Standing Committee on Medical Education from 1950 to 1982. Acknowledging the decisive role of medical schools and faculties, as well as the by then well-established global medical students’ organisation, the International Federation of Medical Students Associations (IFMSA), the WMA joined forces with the World Health Organization, the regional organisations of medical schools and academic teachers and the IFMSA to found the World Federation for Medical Education (WFME) in 1972.
Since then, the WFME has been the common platform for agreeing on principles and standards for medical education over the full life cycle of professional activities. The WMA has endorsed the core documents on basic, post-graduate, and continuous professional education, as well as on Distributed and Distance Learning in Medical Education in 2021.
The WFME has developed a global recognition program for the accreditation of basic medical education and is co-editor of the World Directory of Medical Schools. The WMA closely cooperates with the WFME on educational matters.