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IMG Performance in the 2015 Match
March 27, 2015
Filed under: 2015 Match, ECFMG Certification

For the 13th consecutive year, the number of first-year (PGY-1) residency positions offered through the National Resident Matching Program® (NRMP®) Main Residency Match® increased. A total of 27,293 first-year positions were offered in the 2015 Match. This represents an increase of 615 positions compared to last year and an increase of more than 6,600 positions since 2002.

Compared to 2014, the number of international medical graduates (IMGs) who participated in the Match decreased by 95, and the number of IMGs who matched to first-year positions decreased by 55. Of the 12,387 IMGs who participated in the 2015 Match, 6,302 (50.9%) matched. In the 2014 Match, 6,357 (50.9%) IMGs were matched to first-year positions. (The preceding data include a small number of Fifth Pathway applicants who participated in the 2014 and 2015 Matches. For 2015, these data include seven Fifth Pathway participants who are not represented in the data below.)

Of the 7,366 IMG participants who were not U.S. citizens, 3,641 (49.4%) obtained first-year positions. The number of non-U.S. citizen IMGs who obtained positions in 2015 increased for the fourth year in a row, this year by eight.

Of the 5,014 U.S. citizen IMG participants, 2,660 (53.1%) were matched to first-year positions, a decrease of 62 from last year. This decrease marks an end to 11 consecutive years which saw increases in the number of U.S. citizen IMGs matching to first-year positions.

About the Match

The annual NRMP Match is the system by which applicants are matched with available residency positions in U.S. graduate medical education (GME) programs. Participants submit to the NRMP a list of residency programs, in order of preference. Ranked lists of preferred residency candidates are likewise submitted by U.S. GME programs with available positions. The matching of applicants to available positions is performed by computer algorithm. The Match results announced in March of each year are for GME programs that typically begin the following July.

Additional Resources on the Match and Match Results

The preceding Match data are based on the Advance Data Tables: 2015 Main Residency Match® compiled by NRMP. These tables provide detailed information on the positions offered and filled by the Match in 2015 and prior years. To access these tables, or to obtain further information on NRMP, visit

In December of each year, JAMA: The Journal of the American Medical Association traditionally publishes an in-depth analysis of graduate medical education in the United States. This analysis includes the number of IMGs entering and continuing in U.S. GME programs and a breakdown of IMG resident physicians by specialty and subspecialty. Visit your medical school’s library or

UPDATE – USMLE Step 1 and Step 2 CK Practice Sessions
March 25, 2015
Filed under: Exam Preparation

Examinees who take a Step 1 or Step 2 CK Practice Session may see new user-adjusted display features.

Examinees should read the full announcement on the USMLE website.

Step 1 – Delay in Score Reporting and Change in Number of Test Items
March 20, 2015
Filed under: Exam Preparation, Step 1, USMLE Score Reporting

Most score reporting of Step 1 results occurs within four weeks of testing. However, because of necessary modifications to the test item pool, there will be a delay in reporting for some examinees who test beginning the week of May 11th.

The target date for reporting Step 1 scores for most examinees testing the week of May 11th through late June will be Wednesday, July 8, 2015. For examinees whose circumstances require that they receive Step 1 scores before July 8th, it is recommended that they take Step 1 no later than Friday, May 8, 2015.

During this time period (starting the week of May 11th), a transition will occur in the number of items in current forms of the Step 1 examination. The change will be from a total of 322 items to 308 items. Although the transition will occur quickly at many test centers, there may be some locations where the changes take slightly longer to complete. The overall transition period will likely last approximately 6 weeks. Please note the following:

  • Scores on new and old forms will be comparable; the decrease in the number of items per form will be accounted for in scoring the examination results.
  • The length of the examination day will remain unchanged. The test day will continue to be divided into seven 60-minute blocks, administered in one seven-hour testing session.
  • The number of items per block will decrease from 46 to 44. There will be a total of 308 items on each examination.

Examinees should monitor the USMLE website for the latest information.

Step 1 – Updated Practice Materials Available
March 20, 2015
Filed under: Exam Preparation, Step 1

Updated practice materials for the Step 1 examination have been posted to the USMLE website. They include:

Examinees who plan to take a Step 1 examination on or after the week of May 11, 2015 should practice using the updated materials, which reflect changes scheduled to take effect during this time.

Examinees should monitor the USMLE website for the latest information.

Step 3 Score Release
March 20, 2015
Filed under: Step 3, USMLE Score Reporting

As previously announced, a restructured Step 3 examination was introduced in November 2014. Scores for most Step 3 examinees who tested on or after November 3, 2014 through late February 2015 will be reported on Wednesday, March 25, 2015.

Examinees should monitor the USMLE website for the latest information.

ECFMG On-line Services Unavailable March 21
March 18, 2015
Filed under: General, Step 1, Step 2 CK, Step 2 CS

Due to scheduled maintenance, ECFMG’s on-line services will be unavailable from approximately 7:00 a.m. through approximately 5:00 p.m. on March 21, 2015. All times are calculated using Eastern Time in the United States.

During this maintenance period, you will be unable to access the following:

  • IWA—Interactive Web Applications
  • OASIS—On-line Applicant Status and Information System
  • IMED—International Medical Education Directory
  • Step 2 CS Calendar and Scheduling
  • IAN—IMG Advisors Network
  • EMSWP—ECFMG Medical School Web Portal
  • CVS ON-LINE—Certification Verification Service On-line
  • EVNet—Exchange Visitor Network
  • EPICSM—Electronic Portfolio of International Credentials Physician Portal
  • EPICSM—Electronic Portfolio of International Credentials Report Portal
  • GEMxSM—Global Education in Medicine Exchange on-line services for schools (accessed through EMSWP)
  • GEMxSM—Global Education in Medicine Exchange on-line services for students
  • MyECFMG mobile app

Thank you for your patience and cooperation as we work to maintain high-quality on-line services.

Lisa L. Cover, M.H.A., C.H.E., Joins ECFMG as Vice President for Business Development and Operations
March 17, 2015
Filed under: General

The Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates (ECFMG®) is pleased to announce an important addition to its executive leadership team. Lisa L. Cover, M.H.A., C.H.E., joined ECFMG as Vice President for Business Development and Operations on February 2, 2015.

In this role, Ms. Cover oversees many of ECFMG’s critical functions, including its program of certification, J-1 visa sponsorship program, and customer service and communications functions. She also will explore and develop new ways for ECFMG to serve the world’s physicians, the international medical education and regulatory communities, and others who share our mission of promoting quality medical education, assessment, and health care.

Learn more.

Process for Recognition of Medical School Accrediting Agencies Now Available
February 13, 2015
Filed under: ECFMG Certification, General, Medical School Accreditation

Accrediting agencies are encouraged to apply now to prepare for ECFMG’s 2023 accreditation requirement

In September 2010, ECFMG announced that, effective in 2023, physicians applying for ECFMG Certification will be required to graduate from a medical school that has been appropriately accredited. Since that announcement, a process for recognizing the agencies that accredit medical schools has been developed. This process will allow medical schools accredited by recognized agencies, and their graduates, to meet ECFMG’s accreditation requirement.

As announced in ECFMG’s March 2013 update, the World Federation for Medical Education (WFME), in collaboration with the Foundation for Advancement of International Medical Education and Research (FAIMER®), has developed a Programme for Recognition of Accrediting Agencies. This Programme is the culmination of a pilot launched in 2011 by WFME and FAIMER to develop a meaningful process for evaluating and recognizing accrediting agencies using globally accepted criteria.

Detailed information, including an explanation of the process and the required application forms, is available at the WFME website at

Since WFME’s Programme became available, several accrediting agencies have applied for and been granted recognition by WFME through this process. These agencies include:

  • Association for Evaluation and Accreditation of Medical Education Programs (Turkey)
  • Caribbean Accreditation Authority for Education in Medicine and other Health Professions (CAAM-HP)
  • Liaison Committee on Medical Education (LCME, USA) and the Committee on Accreditation of Canadian Medical Schools (CACMS)

For more information on agencies recognized by WFME, refer to the WFME website at

With the 2023 effective date approaching, ECFMG encourages all agencies that accredit medical schools to visit the WFME website, review the available information, and take action to allow medical schools and their graduates to be in compliance by the deadline.

Questions regarding WFME’s recognition process may be e-mailed to WFME at

Accrediting agencies, medical schools, and international medical graduates should monitor the ECFMG website at for updates.

Step 2 Clinical Skills (CS) Content Description and General Information Booklet
February 11, 2015
Filed under: Exam Preparation, Step 2 CS

An updated version of the Step 2 Clinical Skills (CS) Content Description and General Information booklet is available on the USMLE website.

Break Time for USMLE Step 2 Clinical Skills (CS) Examinations
February 5, 2015
Filed under: Exam Preparation, Step 2 CS

Beginning Monday, February 9, the break schedule for all Step 2 Clinical Skills examinations will change:

  • 10-minute break after the 3rd patient encounter
  • 30-minute break (which includes a light lunch) after the 6th patient encounter
  • 10-minute break after the 9th patient encounter

The Step 2 CS examination consists of 12 patient encounters and lasts approximately 8 hours.

Examinees should monitor the USMLE website for the latest information.

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