ECFMG 2020 Information Booklet

Related ECFMG Services

Electronic Residency Application Service (ERAS®) Support Services

The Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) requires that international medical graduates who wish to enter ACGME-accredited graduate medical education programs in the United States be certified by ECFMG. ECFMG Certification does not, however, guarantee that an international medical graduate will be accepted into a graduate medical education program; the number of applicants for residency and fellowship programs each year exceeds the number of available positions.

The Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) established the Electronic Residency Application Service (ERAS) to allow medical students and graduates to apply electronically for residency positions in accredited U.S. programs of graduate medical education. Most U.S. graduate medical education programs participate in ERAS. If you apply to participating programs, you must submit your residency application using ERAS.

Since ERAS was established, ECFMG has served as the designated Dean’s office for students and graduates of international medical schools, assisting these individuals with the ERAS application process for first- and second-year (PGY-1 and PGY-2) residency positions.

International medical students and graduates who apply to programs that participate in ERAS must request an ERAS Token, a unique identification number, from ECFMG. The Token allows applicants to access AAMC’s MyERAS website, where they can complete their residency application, select the programs to which they will apply, and assign supporting documents to these programs.

As the designated Dean’s office, ECFMG receives supporting documents for the ERAS application, such as medical student performance evaluations (MSPEs), medical school transcripts, and photographs from applicants and their medical schools. ECFMG then transmits these documents to the ERAS application. ECFMG also transmits to the ERAS application the applicant’s ECFMG Status Report, which includes the applicant’s ECFMG certification status and, if requested by the applicant, his/her USMLE transcript. Once supporting documents have been received by the ERAS application, they can be accessed by the programs to which the applicant has applied.

For detailed, up-to-date information on ERAS Support Services at ECFMG, visit the ERAS section of the ECFMG website at

Important Note About U.S. State Medical Licensure Requirements: In the United States, medical licensure requirements vary by individual state medical licensing authorities. You should be aware that:
  • A training or restricted license may be required to participate in programs of graduate medical education. Participants in graduate medical education programs may also be required to obtain an unrestricted medical license by a certain point in their training in order to progress in the program.
  • Some states have established additional criteria with respect to international medical schools for the purpose of eligibility for licensure. When you plan to apply to residency programs, consult the state’s medical licensing board to determine if graduates of your medical school are eligible for licensure in that state.
  • If you are certified by ECFMG based on former medical science exams (such as the Visa Qualifying Examination [VQE] or the Foreign Medical Graduate Examination in the Medical Sciences [FMGEMS]), you should be aware that these exams may not be acceptable for the purpose of eligibility for a training license.
ECFMG does not create or control the medical licensure requirements for any jurisdiction and does not create or control the eligibility requirements for any graduate medical education program. Additionally, ERAS does not preclude any students or graduates from participating in ERAS, based on their eligibility for licensure. Before applying to residency programs in a given state, it is your responsibility to become familiar with that state’s licensure requirements and to ensure that you meet any licensure requirements to enter and complete residency training in that state. For a directory of U.S. state medical licensing authorities, visit the Federation of State Medical Boards website.