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Availability of ECFMG’s 2018 Information Booklet on ECFMG Certification and Application Materials
August 10, 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 expected to be available on the ECFMG website by mid-September 2017.

For Step 1/Step 2 CK, you will be able to 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 on the availability of ECFMG’s 2018 Information Booklet on ECFMG Certification and application materials.


Change in Performance Standards for Step 2 CS
August 7, 2017
Filed under: Exam Preparation, Step 2 CS

This announcement describes a change in the performance standards for the USMLE Step 2 CS examination that will affect examinees testing on or after September 10, 2017.

As stated in the USMLE Bulletin of Information and as explained in a previous posting to the USMLE website, the recommended minimum passing levels for each USMLE examination are reviewed periodically (typically, every 3-4 years) and may be adjusted at any time. Notice of such review and any adjustments are posted on the USMLE website.

At its July 2017 meeting, the USMLE Management Committee voted to increase the required minimum passing level for all three Step 2 CS subcomponents: Communication and Interpersonal Skills (CIS), Spoken English Proficiency (SEP), and Integrated Clinical Encounter (ICE). Because numerical scores are not reported for Step 2 CS, the decisions of the Management Committee are reported in terms of potential impact on examinees, using data from recent administrations.

If the new minimum passing requirements were applied to the group of first-time examinees who recently tested, the overall passing rate for examinees from US medical schools would be approximately three percent lower and the overall passing rate for examinees from international medical schools would be approximately eight percent lower.

Examinees are encouraged to read the full announcement on the USMLE website.


REMINDER: IMGs Participating in 2018 Match Should Apply for Step 2 CS Now
July 31, 2017
Filed under: 2018 Match, ERAS 2018, Step 2 CS

To participate in the National Resident Matching Program® (NRMP®) Main Residency Match®, international medical students/graduates must have passed all exams required for ECFMG Certification. If you plan to participate in the 2018 Match (in March 2018) and still need to pass Step 2 Clinical Skills (CS), you should register now to take the examination.

To help ensure that your result will be available in time to participate in the 2018 Match, you must take Step 2 CS by December 31, 2017. If you do not register now and schedule soon, it is possible that you will not be able to obtain a test date in 2017. At the time of this writing, the earliest available test date at any test center is in November 2017.

The USMLE program also strongly encourages medical students/graduates to schedule their exams early to obtain a testing appointment this year.

If you register and schedule now, you can change your scheduled testing appointment (subject to availability) at no cost within your one-year eligibility period, provided you give notice of more than 14 days.

Follow ECFMG on Facebook and Twitter for periodic updates on availability of Step 2 CS testing appointments. Detailed information on the results reporting schedule for Step 2 CS is available on the ECFMG website.


ECFMG On-line Services Unavailable July 15
July 12, 2017
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 3:00 a.m. through approximately 5:00 p.m. on July 15, 2017. 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
  • Step 2 CS Calendar and Scheduling
  • IAN—IMG Advisors Network
  • EMSWP—ECFMG Medical School Web Portal, and its programs for medical schools and other institutions:
    • Status Verification
    • Credentials Verification
    • Performance Data
    • EMSWP ERAS
    • GEMxSM for Partner Institutions
  • CVS ON-LINE—Certification Verification Service On-line
  • EVNet—Exchange Visitor Network
  • EPICSM—Electronic Portfolio of International Credentials
    • Physician Portal
    • Report Portal
  • GEMx on-line services for students
  • MyECFMG mobile app

The World Directory of Medical Schools also will be unavailable during this maintenance period.

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


New Features in Step 2 CS Patient Note Program
June 21, 2017
Filed under: Exam Preparation, Step 2 CS

Two user-adjustable display features, text magnification and color inversion, are now available in the patient note program used by Step 2 Clinical Skills (CS) examinees after each patient encounter.

Please see the full announcement for more details.


UPDATE: Change to Patient Note Program for the Step 2 CS Exam
June 19, 2017
Filed under: Exam Preparation, Step 2 CS

On or after September 10, 2017, patient notes written in the Step 2 Clinical Skills (CS) exam will automatically submit at the end of the 25 minutes allotted for each patient encounter. Examinees will no longer end the patient note by clicking “Submit.”

A program for practicing writing the patient note is available. Please practice to become familiar with all the features of the program before taking the examination.

Examinees are also encouraged to review the full USMLE announcement for more information.

NOTE: The date for the start of the automatic stop feature was originally projected to be July 16, 2017.


ECFMG On-line Services Unavailable May 20
May 17, 2017
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 12:00 a.m. through approximately 10:00 p.m. on May 20, 2017. 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
  • Step 2 CS Calendar and Scheduling
  • IAN—IMG Advisors Network
  • EMSWP—ECFMG Medical School Web Portal, and its programs for medical schools and other institutions:
    • Status Verification
    • Credentials Verification
    • Performance Data
    • EMSWP ERAS
    • GEMxSM for Partner Institutions
  • CVS ON-LINE—Certification Verification Service On-line
  • EVNet—Exchange Visitor Network
  • EPICSM—Electronic Portfolio of International Credentials
    • Physician Portal
    • Report Portal
  • GEMx on-line services for students
  • MyECFMG mobile app

The World Directory of Medical Schools also will be unavailable during this maintenance period.

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

(published May 17, 2017; updated May 20, 2017)


Updated Step 2 Clinical Skills Content Description and General Information Booklet
May 15, 2017
Filed under: Step 2 CS

The Step 2 Clinical Skills Content Description and General Information booklet has been updated to include information about automatic submission of the patient note as well as recent enhancements to security procedures. In addition, as previously announced, beginning May 21, 2017, examinees may see a case in which the primary task is to assist the standardized patient with making decisions and/or with disease or problem management.

The updated Step 2 Clinical Skills Content Description and General Information booklet is available on the USMLE website.


Step 2 CS Communication Skills Cases
May 11, 2017
Filed under: Exam Preparation, Step 2 CS

Beginning May 21, 2017, USMLE Step 2 Clinical Skills (CS) examinees may see a case in which the primary task is to assist the standardized patient with making decisions and/or with disease or problem management. For these cases, a physical examination will not be required, and the data interpretation section of the patient note will not need to be completed.

Not all examinations will include a case designed to assess these communication skills; examinees will see a maximum of one case.


UPDATE: Scheduling Reminder for Step 2 CS
April 27, 2017
Filed under: Exam Preparation, Step 2 CS

Schedules at all test centers fill up quickly. We strongly encourage examinees to complete their scheduling before May 31 of the calendar year in which they plan to test. Based on scheduling trends, if you try to schedule after August 1, you may find that there are no available testing appointments through the end of the year unless there are cancellations.

The graph below is an estimate of test appointment availability for the next six months as of the date at the bottom of the graph. Please note that the graph does not indicate availability at any one location. Availability at the testing center you choose may differ. Appointment availability changes frequently, so if you are unable to schedule an appointment during a particular time period, please continue to check the Step 2 CS scheduling website. Additional appointments may become available 60 days in advance of a test date.

More information is available in the Applying for the Test and Scheduling Your Test Date section of the Bulletin of Information.

(published January 29, 2016; updated February 10, 2016, February 26, 2016, March 10, 2016, March 23, 2016, April 6, 2016, April 20, 2016, May 6, 2016, May 18, 2016, June 8, 2016, December 2, 2016, December 19, 2016, January 11, 2017, February 9, 2017, February 23, 2017, March 17, 2017, March 30, 2017, April 14, 2017, April 27, 2017, May 15, 2017, June 12, 2017, June 23, 2017, July 13, 2017, July 27, 2017, August 9, 2017)

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