ECFMG 2021 Information Booklet

Related ECFMG Services

Confirming ECFMG Certification to Third Parties

ECFMG’s Certification Verification Service (CVS) provides primary-source confirmation of the ECFMG certification status of international medical graduates. The Joint Commission, the organization that evaluates and accredits U.S. health care organizations and programs, has determined that direct verification with ECFMG of a physician’s certification status satisfies The Joint Commission’s requirement for primary-source verification of medical school completion for graduates of international medical schools. ECFMG will confirm your certification status when a request is received from a U.S. medical licensing authority, residency program, hospital, or other organization that, in the judgment of ECFMG, has a legitimate interest in such information. For status reports sent to medical licensing authorities, the request can also be made by you. Requesting organizations must normally secure and retain your signed authorization to obtain certification information.

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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 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.

For detailed, up-to-date information on ERAS Support Services at ECFMG, visit

J-1 Visa Sponsorship

Foreign national physicians who seek entry into U.S. programs of graduate medical education or training must obtain an appropriate visa that permits clinical training activities. One visa commonly used by foreign national physicians is the J-1, a temporary nonimmigrant visa reserved for participants in the Exchange Visitor Program. As a public diplomacy initiative of the U.S. Department of State, the Exchange Visitor Program was established to enhance international educational and cultural exchange between the people of the United States and other nations.

The U.S. Department of State has designated ECFMG as the visa sponsor for all exchange visitor (J-1) physicians who participate in clinical training programs. ECFMG sponsorship is also available for physicians’ eligible dependents. ECFMG does not sponsor physicians for other U.S. visa types.

For detailed, up-to-date information on J-1 visa sponsorship by ECFMG, visit

ECFMG Certificate Holders Office

The ECFMG Certificate Holders Office (ECHOSM) provides career planning resources for physicians pursuing ECFMG Certification and graduate medical education (GME) in the United States.

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