New to ECFMG Certification?

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Then you probably have a lot of questions. Here are a few answers to get you started.

What is the purpose of ECFMG Certification?

ECFMG Certification is the standard for evaluating the qualifications of IMGs entering the U.S. health care system. It is a requirement for IMGs to:

  • enter residency or fellowship programs that are accredited by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME),
  • take Step 3 of the three-step United States Medical Licensing Examination (USMLE), and
  • obtain an unrestricted license to practice medicine in the United States.

What is an IMG?

ECFMG defines an international medical graduate (IMG) as a physician who received his/her basic medical degree or qualification from a medical school located outside the United States and Canada. The location of your medical school, not your citizenship, is what determines whether you are an IMG. This means that U.S. citizens who graduated from medical schools outside the United States and Canada are considered IMGs. Non-U.S. citizens who graduated from medical schools in the United States and Canada are not considered IMGs.

What are the requirements for ECFMG Certification?

The requirements for ECFMG Certification include:

  • completion of the Application for ECFMG Certification;
  • passing performance on USMLE Step 1, Step 2 Clinical Knowledge, and Step 2 Clinical Skills; and
  • primary-source verification of your medical education credentials.

How do I begin the certification process?

The certification process begins when you request a USMLE/ECFMG Identification Number, which you can do through ECFMG’s Interactive Web Applications (IWA) by clicking on the link to establish an account.


Medical and Dental Council of Nigeria Joins ECFMG’s EPIC

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ECFMG is pleased to announce that the Medical and Dental Council of Nigeria has incorporated ECFMG’s Electronic Portfolio of International Credentials (EPICSM) into its process for assessing the medical credentials of internationally educated physicians who apply for registration to practice medicine in Nigeria, or who plan to take the Council’s Assessment Examination. The Council now requires these applicants to have their medical credentials primary-source verified through EPIC before submitting their applications. ECFMG is proud to partner with the Council to add primary-source verification—a best practice and the best protection against fraudulent credentials—to the Council’s tools for evaluating the qualifications of its physician applicants.

Read the full press release.


Top Five Countries of Medical School, ECFMG Certificants 1989-2013

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Top 5

Top five countries based on aggregate data over a 25-year period.
Source: ECFMG database. Data current as of January 17, 2014.


Top Five Countries of Medical School, ECFMG Certificants 1989-2013

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ECFMG certificants

Top five countries based on aggregate data over a 25-year period.
Source: ECFMG database. Data current as of January 17, 2014.


Standard ECFMG Certificates Issued in 2013: Distribution of Recipients by Country of Medical School and by Country of Citizenship

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Standard ECFMG Certificates Issued in 2013

Distribution of Recipients by Country of Medical School and by Country of Citizenship

Country Country of Medical School Country of Citizenship
  No. % No. %
Antigua and Barbuda 356 3.7 1 <0.1
Aruba 50 0.5 0 0.0
Australia 94 1.0 45 0.5
Bangladesh 48 0.5 51 0.5
Brazil 63 0.7 66 0.7
Canada 0 0.0 831 8.6
Cayman Islands 129 1.3 0 0.0
China 210 2.2 185 1.9
Colombia 85 0.9 81 0.8
Cuba 67 0.7 61 0.6
Dominica 819 8.5 1 <0.1
Dominican Republic 122 1.3 52 0.5
Egypt 202 2.1 188 2.0
Germany 88 0.9 84 0.9
Grenada 891 9.3 5 0.1
Hungary 70 0.7 10 0.1
India 1,278 13.3 1,369 14.2
Iran 167 1.7 175 1.8
Iraq 83 0.9 100 1.0
Ireland 181 1.9 74 0.8
Israel 211 2.2 138 1.4
Japan 70 0.7 68 0.7
Jordan 110 1.1 110 1.1
Lebanon 123 1.3 111 1.2
Mexico 181 1.9 84 0.9
Myanmar 69 0.7 72 0.7
Nepal 94 1.0 99 1.0
Nigeria 152 1.6 215 2.2
Pakistan 568 5.9 529 5.5
Peru 55 0.6 59 0.6
Philippines 136 1.4 97 1.0
Poland 143 1.5 17 0.2
Russia 94 1.0 56 0.6
Saba 156 1.6 0 0.0
Saint Kitts and Nevis 336 3.5 2 <0.1
Saudi Arabia 120 1.2 119 1.2
Singapore 59 0.6 46 0.5
Sint Maarten 367 3.8 0 0.0
South Korea 63 0.7 71 0.7
Syria 96 1.0 111 1.2
Ukraine 50 0.5 31 0.3
United Kingdom 106 1.1 93 1.0
United States 0 0.0 2,963 30.8
Venezuela 59 0.6 60 0.6
Countries with fewer than 50 recipients 1,201 12.5 1,092 11.3
Total 9,622 100.0 9,622 100.0

Citizenship is as of the time of entrance into medical school. Percentages may not equal 100% due to rounding.
Source: ECFMG database. Data current as of January 17, 2014.


USMLE Bulletin of Information 2016

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Bulletin of information 2016The Bulletin includes information on all aspects of USMLE, such as eligibility requirements, scheduling test dates, testing, and score reporting. You must review and become familiar with the Bulletin before completing your application for USMLE Step 1, Step 2 (CK and CS), or Step 3.

Download the PDF version of the 2016 Bulletin

Source: USMLE


ECFMG Fee Increase

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ecfmg fee increase

Effective January 1, 2016, fees for some ECFMG services will increase. The fees that will increase include:

  • The examination fees for USMLE Step 1 and Step 2 Clinical Knowledge (CK) will increase from $865 to $880 for each exam registration.
  • The examination fee for Step 2 Clinical Skills (CS) will increase from $1,505 to $1,535 for each exam registration.
  • The fee for rescheduling a Step 2 CS testing appointment will increase from $0-$1,250 (depending on date of cancellation) to $0-$1,275 (depending on date of cancellation).

The new fees will be assessed for all applications/requests submitted to ECFMG on or after January 1, 2016 (Eastern Time in the United States).

For more information on the fees associated with applying for ECFMG Certification and for USMLE Step 1, Step 2 CK, and Step 2 CS, refer to the ECFMG 2016 Information Booklet and the Fees page of the ECFMG website.

Source: ECFMG & USMLE


How does a medical student get an observership in the USA?

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Enewletter-header-imageAs you know that process of getting a residency spot in USA is becoming competitive for IMGs. In this situation, “United States Clinical Experience” is very important to distinguish your application between other applicants. So, start hunting to participate in right observership program. Getting right   observership is even more complicated than getting a residency spot. Regarding hunting, to be honest, emailing medical professors or other research scientists will not work. Most of them don’t open any irrelevant emails that would be linked to a research volunteering. However, following mentioned tips will help you to approach a right observership program.

  • The best way to approach a medical expert or school for sponsorship is through someone you know. He can be your friend, relative, or a doctor who did an observership over there. He/she can introduce you to the faculty of the medical school.
  • But if you don’t have any contacts in America then do some efforts own your own. Search for contact details of every hospital where you are interested to get experience. Email the PC/PD/Attending expressing for the program. You will get reply soon.
  • The best way is to meet the researchers personally. Take your well written CV along with attractive cover letter with you. Before going to meet any person, you should spend some time to know his current and previous researches, and areas of interest so that can covey him easily.
  • Now if you prove unlucky in getting response then it is time to make some calls. Contact with the administration of your interested hospital and tell them that your want to become observer. I am sure they will give you a schedule appointment.

Remember, to avail maximum chances to participate in observership, you have to submit your request earlier. I suggested that the months from March to June are best for the hinting of observership. Internet search is the best way to approach to a right program.


Number of Programs and Residents, by academic year and specialty and sub-specialty

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Highlighted specialties represent specialties that lead to initial board certification

12 14

 


Important notes about USMLE

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If you have already been granted a license by a US medical licensing authority based on previous licensure examinations, such as the Federation Licensing Examination (FLEX) or the NBME Certifying examinations, you are not eligible to take the USMLE.


If you are dismissed or withdraw(n) from medical school, you are not eligible for USMLE, even if you are appealing the school’s decision to dismiss you or are otherwise contesting your status.


The USMLE does not provide scores or outcomes by telephone, email, or fax to anyone. The scoring process is not expedited or accelerated for any individual or group.


Individuals who passed Step 2 prior to the implementation of Step 2 CS are not permitted to take Step 2 CK, except under the specific exceptions to the retake policy approved by the Composite Committee, but are permitted to take Step 2 CS, provided they meet all other eligibility requirements.


Individuals who were not required to pass Step 2 CS for Step 3 eligibility but elect to take Step 2 CS and subsequently fail the examination are not eligible for Step 3 until they have passed Step 2 CS (most recent administration) and the individual meets all other Step 3 requirements.


Individuals who hold valid Fifth Pathway certificates issued through December 31, 2009, and are otherwise eligible, may use their Fifth Pathway certificates to meet Step 3 eligibility requirements for applications submitted through December 31, 2016. Effective January 1, 2017, the USMLE Program will no longer accept Fifth Pathway certificates for the purpose of meeting Step 3 eligibility requirements. Individuals holding Fifth Pathway certificates that are not accepted by the USMLE Program for purposes of meeting Step 3 eligibility must obtain ECFMG certification in order to meet Step 3 eligibility requirements.


If you violate these Rules of Conduct, you may be directed to leave the test center before completing your examination. Also, evidence of violation of any test administration rule, including these Rules of Conduct, will result in actions being taken under the USMLE policies and procedures on irregular behavior. If you are found to have engaged in irregular behavior, your score report and transcripts will include this finding, and you may be barred from taking the USMLE in the future, and your score may be canceled.

Source: USMLE