About ECFMG Certification | New to ECFMG Certification? | IMGs in the United States | Definition of an IMG | How the Certification Process Works | Requirements for Certification | 2024 Accreditation Requirement | Reference Guide for Medical Education Credentials | Eligibility for Examination | Verification of Credentials | Certification Verification | ECFMG Medical Credentials Reference Library

Requirements for Certification

To be eligible for certification by ECFMG, an international medical graduate (IMG) must meet the following requirements.

Medical School Requirements
The physician’s medical school must meet requirements established by ECFMG. Schools that meet all requirements will be listed in the World Directory of Medical Schools as meeting eligibility requirements for their students and graduates to apply to ECFMG for ECFMG Certification and examination. To confirm that your medical school meets ECFMG’s requirements, access the World Directory at www.wdoms.org. Medical schools that meet ECFMG’s requirements will have an ECFMG note stating this in the schools’ World Directory listing. The ECFMG note also will include the graduation years for which the school meets these requirements. Since ECFMG is a sponsor of the World Directory, the ECFMG note is located on the “Sponsor Notes” tab of the medical school listing. If there is no ECFMG note on the Sponsor Notes tab of your medical school’s listing, you are not eligible to apply to ECFMG for ECFMG Certification and examination. For tips, see the quick guide on how to confirm that a medical school meets eligibility requirements.

Important Note: Beginning in 2024 (previously 2023), individuals will be eligible to apply for ECFMG Certification—the first step in the certification process—and take the required examinations if, at the time of application, their medical school is accredited by an accrediting agency recognized by the World Federation for Medical Education (WFME). Further details regarding the 2024 Medical School Accreditation Requirement, including eligibility guidelines, are available on the ECFMG website at http://www.ecfmg.org/accreditation. International medical students and graduates interested in ECFMG Certification should monitor this website section for the latest information.

Application for ECFMG Certification
International medical students/graduates who wish to pursue ECFMG Certification must submit an Application for ECFMG Certification. The Application for ECFMG Certification consists of an on-line application and the Certification of Identification Form (Form 186) available through ECFMG's Interactive Web Applications (IWA). The Application for ECFMG Certification requires applicants to confirm their identity, contact information, and graduation from or enrollment in a medical school that is listed in the World Directory of Medical Schools (World Directory) as meeting eligibility requirements for its students and graduates to apply to ECFMG for ECFMG Certification and examination.

Examination Requirements

Important Note: The USMLE program has suspended the Step 2 Clinical Skills (CS) examination until at least June 2021. Please see the Requirements for ECFMG Certification for 2021 Match for information.

To meet the examination requirements for ECFMG Certification, an IMG must:

1. Satisfy the medical science examination requirement. USMLE Step 1 and Step 2 Clinical Knowledge (CK) are the exams currently administered that satisfy this requirement.

2. Satisfy the clinical skills requirement. A passing performance on Step 2 CS of the USMLE satisfies this requirement. For qualified applicants who have not passed Step 2 CS and intend to enter the 2021 Match, ECFMG has developed pathways to satisfy this requirement. See Requirements for ECFMG Certification for 2021 Match. Longer-term plans are in process for applicants pursuing Certification who plan to participate in future Matches.

ECFMG has established time limits for completing the examinations for ECFMG Certification. For detailed information, including information on time limits and using a passing performance on former exams to satisfy these requirements, see Examinations for ECFMG Certification in the ECFMG Information Booklet.

Medical Education Credential Requirements
The physician’s graduation year must be included in the ECFMG note in the medical school's World Directory listing. See Medical School Requirements above. International medical graduates must have been awarded credit for at least four credit years (academic years for which credit has been given toward completion of the medical curriculum) by a medical school that is listed in the World Directory as meeting ECFMG eligibility requirements. There are restrictions on credits transferred to the medical school that awards an applicant’s medical degree that can be used to meet this requirement.

Applicants must document the completion of all requirements for, and receipt of, the final medical diploma. See the Reference Guide for Medical Education Credentials for the exact title of the final medical diploma you must have earned (and must provide). ECFMG verifies every applicant’s medical school diploma with the appropriate officials of the medical school that issued the diploma and requests that the medical school provide the final medical school transcript. Verification by ECFMG with the issuing school may also be required for transcripts that are submitted to document transferred credits. For more information, see Medical Education Credentials in the ECFMG Information Booklet.

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