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Important Information for Students Considering Transferring from Medical Schools Impacted by Hurricane Irma
September 14, 2017
Filed under: ECFMG Certification, General, Severe Weather

ECFMG would like to express our continued concern for everyone impacted by Hurricane Irma and its aftermath and voice our support for those involved in ongoing relief efforts.

We understand that some medical students enrolled in Caribbean medical schools experiencing a disruption of services as a result of Hurricane Irma are considering transferring to other medical schools. Before considering a transfer to another medical school, students interested in pursuing ECFMG Certification are strongly advised to ensure they would still meet ECFMG’s requirements for certification, including the medical school requirements, transfer credit requirements, and medical education credentials requirements. If you are a medical student impacted by Hurricane Irma and have any questions, ECFMG staff is ready to assist you. We encourage you to contact ECFMG’s Applicant Information Services by phone at +1 (215) 386-5900 (9:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m., Eastern Time in the United States, Monday through Friday), or by e-mail at info@ecfmg.org.


ECFMG’s 2018 Information Booklet on ECFMG Certification and Application Materials Now Available
September 8, 2017
Filed under: ECFMG Certification, General, Step 1, Step 2 CK, Step 2 CS

ECFMG’s 2018 Information Booklet on ECFMG Certification and the 2018 exam application materials are now available on the ECFMG website.

For Step 1/Step 2 CK, you can use the 2018 materials to apply for:

  • available Step 1/Step 2 CK eligibility periods ending in 2017 (September 2017-November 2017 and October 2017-December 2017) and
  • all Step 1/Step 2 CK eligibility periods ending in 2018, beginning with the November 2017-January 2018 eligibility period.

For Step 2 CS, you can use the 2018 materials to obtain a 12-month eligibility period that begins on the date that the processing of your application is completed.

Please monitor the ECFMG website, and follow ECFMG on Facebook and Twitter, for updates and important information.

(posted August 10, 2017, updated September 8, 2017)


Follow ECFMG on Twitter @ECFMG_IMG

ECFMG is excited to announce the launch of its latest social media platform, a new Twitter account at https://twitter.com/ECFMG_IMG. If you are an international medical student or graduate (IMG) interested in ECFMG Certification and graduate medical education (GME) in the United States, please follow us @ECFMG_IMG to learn more about ECFMG programs, the residency application process, important deadlines, resources from ECFMG and other organizations, and much more.

IMGs comprise approxi­mately 25% of physicians in training in the United States. ECFMG is pleased to offer Twitter to the many talented medical students and graduates who pursue ECFMG Certification and U.S. GME. We hope that you find it helpful.


IMG Performance in the 2017 Match

For the 15th 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 28,849 first-year positions were offered in the 2017 Match. This represents an increase of 989 positions compared to last year and an increase of more than 8,200 positions since 2002.

Compared to 2016, the number of international medical graduates (IMGs) who participated in the Match decreased by 435. While the number of IMGs who matched to first-year positions decreased by 47, the percentage of IMGs who matched increased. Of the 12,355 IMGs who participated in the 2017 Match, 6,591 (53.3%) matched. In the 2016 Match, 6,638 (51.9%) IMGs were matched to first-year positions. (The preceding data include a very small number of Fifth Pathway applicants who participated in the 2016 and 2017 Matches. For 2017, these data include two Fifth Pathway participants who are not represented in the data below.)

Of the 7,284 IMG participants who were not U.S. citizens, 3,814 (52.4%) obtained first-year positions. The number of non-U.S. citizen IMGs who obtained positions increased in 2017 for the sixth year in a row, this year by 45.

Of the 5,069 U.S. citizen IMG participants, 2,777 (54.8%) were matched to first-year positions, a decrease of 92 from last year. The number of U.S. citizen IMGs matching to first-year positions has increased in 12 of the last 14 Matches.

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: 2017 Main Residency Match® compiled by NRMP. These tables provide detailed information on the positions offered and filled by the Match in 2017 and prior years. To access these tables, or to obtain further information on NRMP, visit www.nrmp.org.

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 http://jama.jamanetwork.com/journal.aspx.


ACGME Releases Revised Requirements for U.S. Residency and Fellowship Programs

The Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) today released a final set of revisions to the professional standards that all accredited U.S. residency and fellowship programs follow. The new requirements, which take effect July 1, 2017, reinforce a culture of patient safety and physician well-being in residency training programs by strengthening the focus on patient-centered, team-based care.

While the total number of hours per week that first-year residents work will not change, the revised requirements return first-year residents to the same schedule as other residents and fellows, re-establishing the commitment to team-based care and seamless continuity of care while also ensuring professionalism, empathy, and the commitment of first-year residents to their patients. The limit on continuous work for first-year residents will return to 24 hours, a limit that has been in place nationwide for all other residents and fellows, plus up to four hours to manage necessary care transitions.

For more on the revised requirements, please read:


Update: Executive Order Protecting The Nation From Foreign Terrorist Entry Into The United States

On March 6, 2017, President Trump signed a new executive order that limits the entry of certain foreign nationals to the United States. This new order replaces Executive Order 13769, which was signed on January 27.

At this time, ECFMG is reviewing the new order in consultation with immigration counsel and other organizations in the U.S. medical education community. As we determine what impacts the new order might have on international medical students and graduates, we will communicate directly with individuals that we believe may be affected. We also will provide updates to officials of U.S. graduate medical education programs.

As updates become available, they also will be posted to our Resources on Executive Order web page. Please monitor this web page for the latest information.

[posted January 28, 2017; updated February 4, 2017, March 6, 2017]


Fee Increases for 2017
December 28, 2016
Filed under: ECFMG Certification, Fees, General, Step 1, Step 2 CK, Step 2 CS

Effective January 1, 2017, fees for the following ECFMG applications/service requests will increase:

  • The Application for ECFMG Certification fee will be $75.
  • The examination fees for USMLE Step 1 and Step 2 Clinical Knowledge (CK) will be $895 for each exam registration.
  • The examination fee for USMLE Step 2 Clinical Skills (CS) will be $1,550 for each exam registration.
  • The fee for rescheduling a Step 2 CS testing appointment will be 0-$1,280 (depending on date of cancellation).
  • The J-1 visa sponsorship application fee will be $325.
  • The fee for a Certification Verification Service (CVS) request will be $40.

The new fees will be assessed for all applications/requests submitted to ECFMG on or after January 1, 2017 (Eastern Time in the United States).

For more information on the fees associated with applying for ECFMG Certification and for USMLE Step 1, Step 2 CK, and Step 2 CS, refer to the ECFMG 2017 Information Booklet and the Fees page of the ECFMG website.


2017 Information Booklet on ECFMG Certification and Application Materials Now Available
September 8, 2016
Filed under: ECFMG Certification, General, Step 1, Step 2 CK, Step 2 CS

ECFMG’s 2017 Information Booklet on ECFMG Certification and the 2017 exam application materials are now available on the ECFMG website.

For Step 1/Step 2 CK, you can use the 2017 materials to apply for:

  • available Step 1/Step 2 CK eligibility periods ending in 2016 (September 2016-November 2016 and October 2016-December 2016) and
  • all Step 1/Step 2 CK eligibility periods ending in 2017, beginning with the November 2016-January 2017 eligibility period.

For Step 2 CS, you can use the 2017 materials to obtain a 12-month eligibility period that begins on the date that the processing of your application is completed.

Please monitor the ECFMG website for updates and important information.

(posted August 10, 2016; updated September 8, 2016)


MyECFMG Mobile App Update Offers New Features for ERAS Applicants
August 5, 2016
Filed under: ECFMG Certification, General

ECFMG is pleased to announce that an update is now available for the MyECFMG mobile app. This update offers new features for users who wish to participate in the Electronic Residency Application Service (ERAS®). The first feature enables an applicant to purchase a 2017 ERAS residency Token. The second enables a repeat applicant to select available letters of recommendation (LORs) from last year’s ERAS application for reuse with his/her ERAS 2017 application. To learn more about ERAS Tokens and LORs, please visit ERAS Support Services for Applicants.

For more information on login requirements for the MyECFMG mobile app, what you can do with the app, and a link to download it for free to your iPhone or Android phone, visit http://www.ecfmg.org/resources/myecfmg-mobile-app.html.

If you’re using MyECFMG, please use the app’s Feedback function to let us know what you think of it! We welcome your input to help us improve MyECFMG.


USMLE Takes Action Against Individuals Found To Have Engaged In Irregular Behavior

The USMLE Committee for Individualized Review (CIR) meets periodically throughout the year to review cases involving allegations of irregular behavior by applicants and/or examinees.

At its recent meetings, the CIR considered multiple cases involving the following:

  • falsifying information, including the creation of falsified score reports
  • seeking to obtain unauthorized access to examination materials
  • communicating about specific test items, cases, and/or answers with other examinees
  • providing unauthorized access to examination content on the internet
  • applying for and/or attempting to take an examination when ineligible
  • making notes on test day on something other than materials provided
  • failure to follow test center instructions, including typing past the ‘End Patient Note’ announcement in Step 2 Clinical Skills

Actions taken by the CIR at its recent meetings included:

  • annotating individual USMLE records with a finding of irregular behavior
  • barring access to USMLE for periods up to 3 years
  • reporting the finding of irregular behavior to the disciplinary data bank (Physician Data Center [PDC]) at the Federation of State Medical Boards (FSMB). State medical boards routinely query this data bank as part of their licensing processes
  • canceling the examinee’s score because the validity of a passing level score is in question

As evidenced by the sanctions listed above, a finding of irregular behavior carries significant potential impact. USMLE applicants and examinees are reminded to read the USMLE Bulletin of Information carefully, follow the rules of conduct during testing, and refrain from any pre- or post-examination conduct deemed to be irregular behavior.

Applicants and examinees are also encouraged to watch the USMLE Security Video.

The USMLE is committed to maintaining the integrity of its examination so that state medical boards may continue to rely upon it as an integral part of their decision-making process for licensure. Applicants and examinees are advised to observe all USMLE policies and procedures to avoid the potentially significant implications arising from a finding of irregular behavior.

USMLE encourages you to provide information about cheating and other activity of which you are aware that may compromise the security and integrity of USMLE. Please use the contact form on the USMLE website to report such information.

ECFMG Policies and Procedures Regarding Irregular Behavior

ECFMG also regularly reviews allegations of irregular behavior in conjunction with its programs and services. ECFMG programs and services include but are not limited to, registering international medical students and graduates for USMLE Step 1, Step 2 CK, and Step 2 CS; ECFMG Certification; ERAS Support Services at ECFMG; the Exchange Visitor Sponsorship Program; the ECFMG International Credentials Services; and the Electronic Portfolio of International Credentials.

If the ECFMG Medical Education Credentials Committee determines that an individual engaged in irregular behavior, a permanent annotation to that effect will be included in the individual’s ECFMG record and will be provided to third parties in certain reports.

If it is determined that an individual engaged in irregular behavior, the individual also will be subject to serious sanctions. These sanctions may include, but are not limited to:

  • Barring the individual from future examinations;
  • Barring the individual from ECFMG Certification and/or other ECFMG programs; and
  • Revoking the individual’s Standard ECFMG Certificate.

Individuals who apply to ECFMG programs and services should be familiar with the ECFMG Policies and Procedures Regarding Irregular Behavior, which define irregular behavior and outline possible sanctions. Representative examples of allegations of irregular behavior and actions taken by the ECFMG Medical Education Credentials Committee are also available on the ECFMG website.




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