Welcome to the ECFMG Certificate Holders Office (ECHO). ECHO is committed to providing support and service to ECFMG-certified physicians as they plan their careers. If you are certified by ECFMG, or are about to be certified, you already know that ECFMG Certification is just one step in your career development.
To pursue a career as a physician in the United States, you need to identify the medical specialty or specialties that are a good fit for your skill set, your personality, and your career objectives. You need to apply to the U.S. graduate medical education (GME) programs that are right for you.
And, because the number of U.S. residency positions is limited, it’s essential that your residency applications represent your qualifications as effectively as possible. You will want to know what you can do to make your applications more competitive and improve your chances, whether applying for the first time or trying again. If you haven’t gotten a residency position and don’t want to try again, you may want to learn about other career options related to medicine and health care.
If you are successful in getting a U.S. residency position, you need to handle all the challenges of moving—obtaining an appropriate visa, finding housing, getting a driver’s license, and identifying work or school options for family members that come with you.
Once you begin your training program, you need to learn about and adjust to your program—both your own working environment and the U.S. health care system generally. Soon after this, you have to start thinking about taking USMLE Step 3 and getting an unrestricted license to practice medicine. You may also be interested in a subspecialty fellowship and specialty board certification. And it doesn’t stop there!
You want to focus on learning to practice medicine. ECHO is here to help you with the rest.
Use ECHO to stay connected with ECFMG after you are certified and to access ECFMG’s decades of experience in areas such as international medical education, physician credentials, assessment of physicians, U.S. GME programs, immigration options for U.S. GME, and medical registration/licensure. ECHO will also connect you with other organizations and experts that are important to the next phase of your medical career. And through ECHO, you can connect with other ECFMG-certified physicians at different stages of their careers to share experiences, both successes and challenges.
Staying connected is critical to your success as an applicant to U.S. GME programs, as a physician in training, and as a practicing clinician. Take the first step now by subscribing to ECHO News, a free e-newsletter designed just for you. And come back to visit the ECHO website often. We’ll be adding free resources every month.
ECHO is a new way for certified physicians to communicate with ECFMG, and we want to hear from you.
All of your ideas are important to us. Be heard to ensure that ECHO works for you.
Successfully navigating the U.S. GME system can be difficult. You need to interact with multiple organizations, each with its own roles, requirements, processes, and deadlines. The same is true when you apply for a residency position, a visa, U.S. medical licensure, fellowship programs, and specialty board certification. Knowing what to do and when to do it is key.
ECHO was established to help you with that. Our goal is to offer you the resources you need to be better prepared and organized when making important decisions about your medical career. Be informed so you can be engaged.