Requirements for ECFMG Certification for 2021 Match

Pathway 1: Already Licensed to Practice Medicine in Another Country

Who Should Apply

Pathway 1 is intended for applicants who currently hold or have recently held a license/registration to practice medicine without supervision. Applicants who meet the eligibility requirements for Pathway 1 must apply to Pathway 1.

Please note: Applicants who have a passing performance on USMLE Step 2 CS that is valid for ECFMG Certification and/or are certified by ECFMG are ineligible for the pathways. These individuals do not need to pursue the pathways to meet the requirements for ECFMG Certification or to participate in the 2021 Match.

Eligibility Requirements

In addition to the requirements listed above, the applicant must meet the requirements in Eligibility for All Pathways and English Language Proficiency Assessment, as well as all other eligibility requirements for ECFMG Certification.

Application Timing

You can apply now using the Application for Pathways for ECFMG Certification for 2021 Match.

Your application must be submitted no later than December 31, 2020.

In order for you to participate in the 2021 Match, ECFMG must determine the outcome of your pathway application; determine your overall eligibility for the 2021 Match, including verifying your passing performance on Step 1 and Step 2 Clinical Knowledge (CK) of the United States Medical Licensing Examination® (USMLE®); then report your eligibility status to the National Resident Matching Program® (NRMP®) by the NRMP Rank Order List Certification deadline. ECFMG will not determine the outcome of your pathway application until all required supporting documentation and/or verification(s) have been received. Therefore, the time needed to complete the processing of your application is contingent upon receipt of all supporting documentation and verifications. Please plan the timing of your application accordingly.

Application Instructions

Once you begin the application, you will have five days to complete and submit it. If the application is not submitted within five days, it will be deleted, and you will need to begin a new application if you wish to apply to a pathway.

To begin the application, you will need to log in with your USMLE/ECFMG ID and ECFMG On-line Services password.

After you log in, the application will indicate whether you meet the eligibility requirements that pertain to all pathways. If you meet these general eligibility requirements, you will proceed to questions regarding your eligibility for the specific pathways, beginning with Pathway 1.

To determine if you are eligible for Pathway 1, you will be asked whether you currently hold a license/registration to practice medicine without supervision in any country. If you do not currently hold a license/registration and your answer is “No,” you will then be asked whether you have held a license/registration to practice medicine without supervision at any time on or after January 1, 2015.

If you answer “Yes” to either question, you will be required to apply to Pathway 1 and provide details on all licenses/registrations to practice medicine without supervision that you have held on or after January 1, 2015.

For each license/registration, you will be asked to provide the following:

As demonstration of your licensure/registration, you will be required to provide appropriate documentation for each license/registration from the authority that issued it. To demonstrate that you meet this requirement, you must do one of the following:

  1. Preferred Method: Request that the authority send a Certificate or Letter of Good Standing/Current Professional Status, or equivalent documentation, directly to ECFMG.
    • We recommend that you submit your request as soon as possible. You do not need to wait until you apply to a pathway to submit your request to the authority.
    • Please direct the authority to send the documentation to licensure@ecfmg.org. Please note that this e-mail address is for regulatory authorities only; e-mail messages received at this address from applicants will not receive a response.
  2. Obtain a Certificate or Letter of Good Standing/Current Professional Status, or equivalent documentation, and upload it with your pathway application.
    • The document must have been issued within 90 days of the date you submit your pathway application.
    • ECFMG will primary-source verify this document.
  3. Not Recommended Unless You Cannot Use A or B: If the medical regulatory authority will not send the Certificate or Letter of Good Standing/Current Professional Status directly to ECFMG (A) or provide it to you so that you can upload it during the application process (B), you may upload a copy of your license/registration with your pathway application and ECFMG will attempt to obtain this information on your behalf.
    • ECFMG will primary-source verify the documentation and request that the issuing authority provide information regarding your history of disciplinary action. This may delay your application. You are strongly urged to refer to your regulatory authority’s process for reporting on good standing/professional status.

If you select B or C above, you will be able to upload the documentation, along with an English translation if the documentation is not in English.

After you have provided information about your licensure/registration history and documentation, you will be required to provide information on your English Language Proficiency Assessment. (Note: You do not need to take and pass the English language proficiency assessment before submitting the on-line pathways application.) Following that, you will be asked to provide payment and submit your application to ECFMG.

Once your application is received, ECFMG will evaluate it. A case manager will contact you if there are any issues with your application or if we require additional information.

Important Information on Documentation Submitted in Support of Your Application
Fees and Payment

The fee for applying to a pathway is $900. Full payment is due when you submit your application.

You must use a Visa, MasterCard, Discover, or American Express credit card with a security code; credit available in your ECFMG Financial Account cannot be used to pay for a pathway application.

Fees related to your application are not refundable. If you submit a pathway application and ECFMG determines that you are ineligible for the pathway or denies your request for exception, your application will be rejected and the fee will not be refunded. In addition, if ECFMG does not receive all required documentation in support of your application, as well as any required verifications of submitted documentation from the issuing authority, your application will not be complete, and the application fee will not be refunded.

The preceding information is current as of September 2, 2020 and is subject to change. Please visit the ECFMG website frequently for updates regarding these requirements.