Requirements for ECFMG Certification for 2021 Match

Pathway 3: Medical School Accredited by Agency Recognized by World Federation for Medical Education (WFME)

Pathway 4: Medical School Participates in U.S. Federal Student Loan Program

Pathway 5: Medical School Issues Degree Jointly with a U.S. Medical School Accredited by Liaison Committee on Medical Education (LCME)

Who Should Apply

Pathways 3, 4, and 5 are intended for applicants who have not yet obtained a license/registration to practice medicine without supervision (Pathway 1) and who have not already passed an acceptable standardized clinical skills exam for medical licensure (Pathway 2). An applicant to Pathways 3, 4, or 5 must be a student or a recent graduate of a medical school that meets eligibility requirements established by ECFMG.

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

Requirements for all applicants to Pathways 3, 4, and 5:

Pathway-specific medical school requirements:

If ECFMG determines that additional medical schools meet the requirements for these pathways, they will be added to the lists noted above.

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.

The Clinical Skills Attestation form (see below) must be received by ECFMG directly from your medical school no later than January 31, 2021.

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. If you meet the eligibility requirements for Pathway 1, you will be required to apply to Pathway 1 and cannot apply to any of the other pathways. If you do not meet the Pathway 1 eligibility requirements, you will be requested to provide information regarding your eligibility for Pathway 2. If you indicate that you are not eligible to apply to Pathway 2, you will be able to enter information to determine your eligibility to apply to Pathway 3, 4, or 5.

To determine if you are eligible to apply to Pathway 3, 4, or 5, you will be asked to enter your medical school graduation date or expected graduation date and to select your medical school from the list of medical schools that are acceptable for Pathways 3, 4, and 5.

If you are eligible to apply to Pathway 3, 4, or 5, you will then be required to provide information on your English Language Proficiency Assessment. (Please 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.

Clinical Skills Attestation by Medical School

In order to meet the requirements for Pathways 3, 4, and 5, your medical school must attest to your clinical skills, following the steps outlined in the Clinical Skills Attestation form.

The form must be sent directly to ECFMG by the medical school.

Please note: It is your responsibility to ensure that your medical school completes a Clinical Skills Attestation form in support of your application; your application cannot be approved until the completed attestation is received and accepted by ECFMG. The form must be received by ECFMG no later than January 31, 2021.

Submission of the Clinical Skills Attestation form does not guarantee that it will be accepted by ECFMG.

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.