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Verification of Credentials
To be eligible for ECFMG Certification, international medical graduates must provide copies of their medical education credentials—currently the final medical diploma, final medical school transcript, and, if required, transfer credit transcript(s). Since 1986, ECFMG has verified the authenticity of applicants’ credentials directly with authorized officials of the applicants’ medical schools. An applicant’s credentials are not considered complete until ECFMG receives and accepts verification of these credentials directly from the issuing school(s).
Primary-source verification is a rigorous, multi-step process that ECFMG employs to ensure the integrity and authenticity of a physician’s medical education credentials.
- When ECFMG receives a credential issued by a medical school, it first reviews the credential and compares it to sample primary-source verified documents from its Medical Credentials Reference Library to confirm that it is consistent with the format of credentials issued by the medical school.
- If the credential is determined to be consistent with verified samples, ECFMG will communicate directly with the issuing institution to request verification of the credential’s authenticity. If ECFMG believes it will facilitate the verification process, ECFMG will communicate with an institution in the language of the country in which the institution is located. ECFMG currently verifies documents using 10 languages.
- Once ECFMG receives this verification, another review is conducted to confirm that the verification meets ECFMG’s standards. ECFMG only accepts verifications directly from the issuing institution.
Electronic Credentials Verification
Since it began to primary-source verify credentials in 1986, ECFMG and international medical schools have exchanged credentials and verifications by postal mail. In 2012, ECFMG launched electronic Credentials Verification, an innovative program that allows primary-source verification of credentials over the Internet.
Electronic primary-source verification of credentials represents a significant advance over the paper verification process, benefiting both medical schools and their graduates. The electronic process eliminates transit time and postal delays associated with mailing paper documents, and includes features that help ensure timely and complete verifications. Security measures in the program ensure that only authorized medical school officials are able to verify credentials. The program is available to medical schools at no cost through the ECFMG Medical School Web Portal (EMSWP). For more information or to join, visit Electronic Credentials Verification on this website, or send e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
ECFMG will expand use of electronic Credentials Verification to other credentials verification services, such as ECFMG’s program that verifies credentials for the Federation Credentials Verification Service (FCVS) of the Federation of State Medical Boards. Electronic Credentials Verification is already a critical component of ECFMG’s Electronic Portfolio of International Credentials (EPICSM), a web-based service that makes ECFMG’s primary-source verification expertise accessible to individual physicians and to the organizations worldwide charged with evaluating the qualifications of these physicians.