Requirements for ECFMG Certification for 2021 Match

Requirements

To be certified by ECFMG, international medical graduates (IMGs) have been required to pass Step 1, Step 2 Clinical Knowledge (CK), and Step 2 Clinical Skills (CS) of the United States Medical Licensing Examination® (USMLE®). In response to the suspension of Step 2 CS for the next 12-18 months by the USMLE program, we have identified pathways that will allow qualified IMGs who have not passed Step 2 CS to meet the requirements for ECFMG Certification. These pathways allow ECFMG Certification to continue to perform its critical function of providing assurance to the public and U.S. graduate medical education (GME) programs that IMGs are ready to enter supervised training.

Please note: Applicants who have passed Step 2 CS and/or are certified by ECFMG do not need to read the following information and do not need to pursue the pathways described below.

These pathways are directed toward IMGs who intend to enter the 2021 Match. All other eligibility requirements for ECFMG Certification will remain in effect. An application process and instructions for the following pathways are currently in development, with further details to be provided very soon. We are providing preliminary information now in order to direct individuals to begin their planning as they seek to enter U.S. GME programs accredited by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) for the 2021-2022 academic year.

Pathways

Applicants who wish to enter an ACGME-accredited GME program for the 2021-2022 academic year and are unable to take Step 2 CS due to the suspension may meet the clinical skills requirement for ECFMG Certification through one of five pathways. Please refer to the additional information on the pathways and eligibility requirements, below.

English Language Proficiency Assessment

Applicants who pursue one of the following pathways will be required to attain a satisfactory score on an English language proficiency assessment. All applicants, regardless of citizenship, will be required to satisfy this requirement. ECFMG will accept the Occupational English Test (OET) Medicine to satisfy the English language proficiency requirement. See the English Language Proficiency Assessment page for more information.

Obtaining Permanent ECFMG Certification

ECFMG Certificates based on one of the clinical skills pathways listed below will expire if the applicant does not enter an ACGME-accredited GME program for the 2021-2022 academic year. Once the applicant successfully completes the first year of ACGME-accredited training, the certificate is no longer subject to expiration.

Eligibility for All Pathways

Applicants who are eligible to pursue ECFMG Certification based on one of the pathways include those who:

Please note: Applicants who have passed USMLE Step 2 CS and/or are certified by ECFMG do not need to read this information and do not need to pursue the pathways described below.

Pathways and Eligibility Requirements

Applicants must meet all requirements listed in Eligibility for All Pathways, above. Applicants also must meet all requirements listed below for the pathway that is the basis for obtaining their ECFMG Certificate.

Applicants who already have been issued a license to practice medicine in another country must apply using Pathway 1.

Additional details and specific instructions to meet the requirements for each pathway will be announced very soon.

Pathway 1: Already Licensed to Practice Medicine in Another Country

Pathway 2: Already Passed a Standardized Clinical Skills Exam for Medical Licensure

Pathway 3: Medical School Accredited by Agency Recognized by World Federation for Medical Education (WFME)

Pathway 4: Medical School Participates in U.S. Federal Student Loan Program

Pathway 5: Medical School Issues Degree Jointly with a U.S. Medical School Accredited by Liaison Committee on Medical Education (LCME)

The preceding information is current as of July 8, 2020 and is subject to change. Please visit the ECFMG website frequently for updates regarding these requirements.