Requirements for ECFMG Certification for 2022 Match

Information for Physician Evaluators for Pathway 6: Evaluation of Clinical Patient Encounters by Licensed Physicians

Overview

In response to the suspension and subsequent discontinuation of the Step 2 Clinical Skills (CS) component of the United States Medical Licensing Examination® (USMLE®) by the USMLE program, ECFMG|FAIMER has offered Pathways to allow international medical graduates (IMGs) who have not passed Step 2 CS to meet the clinical and communication skills requirements for ECFMG Certification. ECFMG|FAIMER first offered the Pathways to IMGs participating in the 2021 Match and is continuing and expanding the Pathways for IMGs participating in the 2022 Match.

There are six Pathways through which applicants can apply to meet the clinical and communication skills requirements for ECFMG Certification. To meet the requirements for Pathway 6, the applicant’s clinical skills must be observed and evaluated by licensed physicians during six real, in-person clinical encounters using ECFMG’s Mini-Clinical Evaluation Exercise (Mini-CEX) for Pathway 6. The Mini-CEX is a well-studied workplace-based assessment tool used to evaluate an individual’s clinical skills in a variety of clinical settings.

The information provided on this web page is for physicians who have been asked to complete a Mini-CEX evaluation by an applicant, or applicants, to Pathway 6. Please read all the information on this page before completing the Mini-CEX and submitting your evaluation to ECFMG.

If you have any questions about this process or need assistance to complete a Mini-CEX for an applicant, please contact ECFMG at casemanager@ecfmg.org.

For general information on the Pathways, please see Requirements for ECFMG Certification for 2022 Match.

Steps for Completing the Mini-CEX for Pathway 6

Following are the steps required by both the physician evaluator and the applicant to complete the Mini-CEX for Pathway 6.

Step 1: Applicant confirms physician evaluator’s eligibility and obtains physician’s approval.

Step 2: Applicant provides evaluator’s information to ECFMG.

Step 3: Evaluator receives an e-mail from ECFMG indicating that applicant has requested a Mini-CEX evaluation.

Step 4: Evaluator logs in to ECFMG’s Clinical Skills Evaluation and Attestation Portal and completes portal profile.

Step 5: Evaluator accepts or rejects the applicant’s request for a Mini-CEX evaluation.

Step 6: Evaluator identifies an appropriate in-person clinical patient encounter in which to observe and evaluate the applicant’s clinical skills.

Step 7: Evaluator observes the applicant during the clinical encounter.

Step 8: Evaluator logs into the Clinical Skills Evaluation and Attestation Portal to complete the Mini-CEX evaluation of the applicant’s clinical skills.

Important Notes:

All Mini-CEX encounters must be completed through the process outlined above, and all Mini-CEX evaluations must be completed through ECFMG’s Clinical Skills Evaluation and Attestation Portal. ECFMG will not accept Mini-CEX evaluations submitted outside of the Clinical Skills Evaluation and Attestation Portal in any way, including by e-mail.

It is the responsibility of applicants to ensure that their physician evaluators complete the Mini-CEX evaluations in support of their applications. An application cannot be approved until all completed Mini-CEX evaluations are received and accepted by ECFMG. All Mini-CEX evaluations must be received by ECFMG no later than December 31, 2021.

If an applicant does not meet ECFMG’s scoring requirements for the six Mini-CEX evaluations, all six Mini-CEX evaluations for that applicant will automatically be provided to the Pathway 6 Review Committee for review. The Pathway 6 Review Committee is comprised of physician reviewers from ECFMG|FAIMER and its Board of Trustees. The Committee will determine whether the applicant has met ECFMG’s clinical skills requirements for Pathway 6 based both on the scores and the reasons for the scores provided by the physician evaluators. The Committee may contact you for additional information about any Mini-CEX evaluation(s) you have submitted for an applicant whose evaluations are under review.

Criteria for Acceptable Physician Evaluators

To serve as a physician evaluator for an applicant, you must:

The applicant will be required to attest that you meet these criteria at the time s/he submits your information to ECFMG. You will be required to attest that you meet these criteria when you complete the on-line Mini-CEX evaluation for the applicant.

In addition, please note that if you meet ECFMG’s criteria to serve as a physician evaluator, you may:

Criteria for Acceptable Clinical Encounters

Each clinical encounter in which the applicant is observed must:

Additionally, both you and the applicant must take all steps necessary to ensure that the clinical encounter is conducted in compliance with all applicable licensure, regulatory, and/or legal requirements. The applicant will be required to attest to this at the time s/he submits your information to ECFMG. You will be required to attest to this at the time you complete the on-line Mini-CEX evaluation for the applicant.

ECFMG Mini-CEX for Pathway 6

To complete the Mini-CEX evaluation for the applicant through the Clinical Skills Evaluation and Attestation Portal, you will need to provide general information about the encounter, including the date on which the encounter took place, the health care facility/hospital at which the encounter took place, the setting of the encounter, the patient’s age, and the patient’s gender.

You will then score applicant’s performance during the clinical encounter on each of four clinical skills components:

For each component, you will score the applicant’s performance on a scale of 1 to 9, with 1 being the lowest score and 9 being the highest score, based on the following anchors:

The Mini-CEX for Pathway 6 also includes descriptions of the skills expected at the level of an applicant who is a medical school graduate ready to enter postgraduate training/graduate medical education (GME). If you score the applicant below this level, you will be required to provide additional information about what you observed during the encounter that led to the score.

For a sample Mini-CEX form, which includes a scoring rubric, see the PDF version of the ECFMG Mini-CEX for Pathway 6. Please note that this sample version is for your reference only; it should not be used to complete the evaluation or be submitted to ECFMG. All Mini-CEX responses must be collected and scored electronically through ECFMG’s Clinical Skills Evaluation and Attestation Portal. Paper evaluations and evaluations sent via e-mail will not be accepted.

The preceding information is current as of August 12, 2021 and is subject to change. Please visit the ECFMG website frequently for updates regarding these requirements.