To participate in ERAS, you must have a USMLE/ECFMG Identification Number. You may purchase a residency Token and apply to programs before you complete the examinations required for ECFMG Certification.
IMPORTANT NOTE: Individual programs set their own eligibility criteria and application deadlines. It is up to applicants to research their programs of interest prior to applying.
To participate in The Match, NRMP requires that you meet the examination requirements for ECFMG Certification and that your passing results/satisfactory completion of these requirements are available by the NRMP Rank Order List (ROL) Certification deadline. To maximize the chances that you meet these requirements in time for you to participate in The Match, you should become familiar with them, including applicable deadlines and turnaround times. Please consider the following:
Please note that the number of applicants seeking to complete the required medical science exams may exceed the spaces available in time for all applicants to meet deadlines imposed by NRMP and/or graduate medical education (GME) programs.
In the United States, a license to practice medicine is granted by individual state medical licensing authorities. Each state sets its own requirements for licensure. Depending on the state, a training or restricted license may be required to participate in GME programs. Participants in GME may also be required to obtain an unrestricted medical license by a certain point in their training in order to progress in the program.
Some states have established additional criteria with respect to international medical schools for the purpose of eligibility for licensure. When you plan to apply to residency programs, consult the state’s medical licensing board to determine if graduates of your medical school are eligible for licensure in that state.
Additionally, if you were certified by ECFMG based on former medical science exams (such as the Visa Qualifying Examination [VQE] or the Foreign Medical Graduate Examination in the Medical Sciences [FMGEMS]), you should be aware that these exams may not be acceptable for the purpose of eligibility for a training license. Of the states that require a training license for participants in GME, most do not accept these exams for this purpose.
ECFMG does not create or control the medical licensure requirements for any jurisdiction and does not create or control the eligibility requirements for any GME program. Additionally, ERAS does not preclude any students/graduates from participating in ERAS, based on their eligibility for licensure. Before applying to residency programs in a given state, it is your responsibility to become familiar with that state’s licensure requirements and to ensure that you meet any licensure requirements to enter and complete residency training in that state.
For a directory of U.S. state medical licensing authorities, visit the Federation of State Medical Boards (FSMB) website.
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[Last update: May 17, 2023]