ECFMG is a world leader in promoting quality health care—serving physicians, members of the medical education and regulatory communities, health care consumers, and those researching issues in medical education and health workforce planning.
International medical graduates (IMGs) comprise nearly one-quarter of the U.S. physician workforce. Certification by ECFMG is the standard for evaluating the qualifications of these physicians before they enter U.S. graduate medical education (GME), where they provide supervised patient care. ECFMG Certification also is a requirement for IMGs to take Step 3 of the three-step United States Medical Licensing Examination® (USMLE®) and to obtain an unrestricted license to practice medicine in the United States.
ECFMG provides other programs for IMGs pursuing U.S. GME, including those that assist them with the process of applying for U.S. GME positions; and that sponsor foreign nationals for the J-1 visa for the purpose of participating in such programs. We offer a verification service that allows GME programs, state medical boards, hospitals, and credentialing agencies in the United States to obtain primary-source confirmation that their IMG applicants are certified by ECFMG. The ECFMG Certificate Holders Office (ECHO) offers free career planning resources for physicians pursuing ECFMG Certification.
ECFMG partners with the National Board of Medical Examiners® (NBME®) in administering the Step 2 Clinical Skills (CS) component of USMLE, a requirement for IMGs and for graduates of U.S. and Canadian medical schools who wish to be licensed in the United States or Canada. Through this collaboration, the Clinical Skills Evaluation Collaboration (CSEC), ECFMG uses its experience in assessment to ensure that all physicians entering U.S. GME can demonstrate the fundamental clinical skills essential to providing safe and effective patient care under supervision.
Through more than six decades of certifying IMGs, ECFMG has developed unparalleled expertise on the world’s medical schools, the credentials they issue to their graduates, and the verification of those credentials. ECFMG expanded this expertise nearly 20 years ago to include primary-source verification of credentials related to postgraduate training and registration/licensure. Currently, ECFMG's Electronic Portfolio of International Credentials (EPICSM) service offers this expertise to individual physicians and the entities that license, train, educate, and employ them.
ECFMG’s programs for the medical education community offer valuable services to international medical schools and their graduates, and promote quality in medical education worldwide. Through its GEMxsm program, ECFMG is building a global partnership, and supporting regional partnerships, for international educational exchange in medicine and the health professions. GEMx facilitates the elective exchange process for participating institutions and students alike, and provides students with increased access to exchange opportunities. Though the ECFMG Medical School Web Portal (EMSWP), ECFMG provides access to several web-based services for international medical schools, including electronic Credentials Verification and USMLE Performance Data.
ECFMG’s commitment to promoting excellence in international medical education led to the establishment of its nonprofit foundation, the Foundation for Advancement of International Medical Education and Research (FAIMER®). FAIMER has assumed responsibility for, and expanded upon, ECFMG’s programs for international medical educators and ECFMG’s research agenda. Through FAIMER, ECFMG offers training in leadership and health professions education; creates and maintains data resources on medical education worldwide; and conducts research on international medical education programs, physician migration, and U.S. physician workforce issues.
ECFMG is a private, nonprofit organization whose members are: American Board of Medical Specialties; American Medical Association; Association of American Medical Colleges; Association for Hospital Medical Education; Federation of State Medical Boards of the United States, Inc.; and National Medical Association.