New to ECFMG Certification?

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.

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