As new developments in medical education move inexorably forward, medical schools are being encouraged to revisit their curricula to ensure quality graduates and match their outcomes against defined standards. These standards may eventually be transferred into global accreditation standards, which allow 'safe passage' of graduates from one country to another [Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates (ECFMG) 2010. Requiring medical school accreditation for ECFMG certification--moving accreditation forward. Available from: http://www.ecfmg.org/accreditation/rationale.pdf]. Gaining much attention is the important standard of social accountability--ensuring that graduates' competencies are shaped by the health and social needs of the local, national and even international communities in which they will serve. But, in today's 'global village', if medical schools address the needs of their immediate community, who should address the needs of the wider global community? Should medical educators and their associations be looking beyond national borders into a world of very unequal opportunities in terms of human and financial resources; a world in which distant countries and populations are very quickly affected by medical and social disasters; a world in which the global playing field of medical education is far from level? With medical schools striving to produce fit-for-purpose graduates who will hopefully address the health needs of their country, is it now time for the medical education fraternity to extend their roles of social accountability to level this unlevel playing field? We believe so: the time has come for the profession to embrace a global accountability model and those responsible for all aspects of healthcare professional development to recognise their place within the wider global community.