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How the Certification Process Works
An international medical student/graduate (IMG) should begin the ECFMG Certification process by first confirming his/her medical school meets ECFMG requirements. Once an IMG confirms that students/graduates of his/her medical school are eligible to apply to ECFMG for ECFMG Certification and examination, he/she can apply for a USMLE/ECFMG Identification Number. Once an IMG has obtained this number, he/she can use it to complete the Application for ECFMG Certification. Once the Application for ECFMG Certification has been submitted, the IMG may then apply for examination.
To be certified by ECFMG, an IMG must meet both examination and medical education credential requirements. These requirements include passing performance on medical science and clinical skills examinations—USMLE Step 1, Step 2 Clinical Knowledge (CK), and Step 2 Clinical Skills (CS) are the exams currently administered that satisfy these requirements—and primary-source verification of the IMG’s medical education credentials, including the final medical diploma, final medical school transcript, and transcript(s) to document transferred academic credits.
The time required to complete the certification process is different for each individual. Both medical school students and graduates may begin the certification process and may apply for the required exams as soon as they meet the eligibility requirements for examination. However, since one of the requirements for ECFMG Certification is that the final medical diploma be verified by ECFMG with the issuing medical school, an IMG cannot complete the certification process until after graduation from medical school. The time required for some aspects of the certification process, such as the time required by a medical school to verify medical education credentials, is beyond the control of ECFMG.