News

ECFMG On-line Services Unavailable November 16-17

Due to scheduled maintenance, ECFMG’s on-line services are expected to be unavailable beginning at approximately 8:00 a.m. on Saturday, November 16, 2019. Services are expected to be restored by 6:00 p.m. on Sunday, November 17, 2019. All times are calculated using Eastern Time in the United States.

During this maintenance period, you will be unable to access most ECFMG on-line services, including 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 (for staff of U.S. training programs that host ECFMG-sponsored exchange visitor physicians)
  • 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.

USMLE Step 1 and Step 2 CK Content Changes Scheduled for Mid-2020

Beginning in mid-2020, the United States Medical Licensing Examination® (USMLE®) Step 1 and Step 2 Clinical Knowledge (CK) examinations will include an increased number of questions assessing communication skills, system-based practice and patient safety, and legal/ethical skills and professionalism. The length of the testing days for Step 1 and Step 2 CK will not change.

Decisions about the balance of content on USMLE examinations are the responsibility of two groups: the USMLE Composite Committee and USMLE Management Committee. Both are composed of educators, practicing physicians, members with experience on state medical licensure boards, and public members. These committees approved the increase in the number of test items assessing the important competencies listed above.

Timetable:

  • Beginning in May 2020, Step 1 will include additional questions assessing communication skills.
  • Beginning in June/July 2020, Step 2 Clinical Knowledge will include additional questions on systems-based practice, patient safety, legal/ethical issues, and professionalism.
  • No changes to the Step 3 examination are planned during this timeframe.

Sample test items illustrating assessment of communications skills, systems-based practice and patient safety, and legal/ethical skills and professionalism are provided in the Step 1 Content Description and General Information booklet (pp. 7-11) and in the Step 2 Clinical Knowledge Content Description and General Information booklet (pp. 8-11).

The practice materials available on USMLE.org will be updated in early 2020 to reflect these changes in the distribution of exam content across content categories on Step 1 and Step 2 CK.

Dr. Pinsky Conducts National Media Tour with Renowned Forensic Pathologist

ECFMG President and CEO William W. Pinsky, M.D., on October 24 joined Bennet Omalu, M.D., the Nigerian-born forensic pathologist who was the subject of the 2015 film Concussion, for a television and radio tour of cities nationwide to talk about the importance of international medical graduates (IMGs) to health care in the United States.

William W. Pinsky & Bennet Omalu

From a studio in New York City, Drs. Pinsky and Omalu did 24 interviews via satellite with television and radio stations in 19 cities in 17 different states, including such large-market cities as Dallas, Denver, Minneapolis, Orlando, Pittsburgh, Raleigh, St. Louis, and Tampa.

During the interviews, Dr. Omalu talked about his path from medical school in Nigeria to being one of the eminent forensic pathologists in the United States. Dr. Pinsky discussed the important contributions that physicians, such as Dr. Omalu, make to health care in the nation.

Dr. Omalu identified and named the disease Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE), which results from repeated concussions suffered by athletes, including football players. He is the President and Medical Director of Bennet Omalu Pathology and author of the memoir Truth Doesn’t Have a Side, which was published in 2017 by Zondervan, HarperCollins.

The television and radio tour was part of Strategic Initiative 9 of the ECFMG/FAIMER strategic plan to be a thought leader and to serve as an active advocate for IMGs. In recent months, the Communications Department paired Dr. Pinsky with several IMGs to talk about the important contributions they make to U.S. health care, especially amidst a growing national physician shortage.

Dr. Pinsky did a video interview and opinion pieces in cardiology trade publications with Mandeep R. Mehra, M.D., a renowned cardiologist and medical director of the Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Vascular Center; a widely published press release with Archana Chatterjee, M.D., a pediatric infectious disease specialist in South Dakota; and a radio media tour with Beatriz Wills, M.D. of Colombia, an internist at Johns Hopkins Medical Center.

The television and radio tour with Dr. Omalu included interviews with the following media outlets (links to available interviews are included below):

  • KCTU, Wichita-Hutchinson, KS
  • KETV, Omaha, NE
  • KRMG-AM/FM, Tulsa, OK
  • WYRQ-FM, Minneapolis, MN
  • Daybreak USA, IRN/USA Radio
  • Health Professional Radio
  • WXGM-FM, Norfolk-Portsmouth, VA
  • KTXA, Dallas-Ft. Worth, TX
  • WALA, Mobile-Pensacola, FL
  • WTWO, Terre Haute, IN
  • WHIG, Raleigh, NC
  • Spectrum News 13, Orlando, FL
  • KPLR, St. Louis, MO
  • KFKA-AM, Denver, CO (interview begins at 8:18)
  • WISR-AM, Pittsburgh, PA
  • News Around America
  • SNN 6, Tampa, FL
  • WKUL-FM, Birmingham, AL
  • Park City TV, Salt Lake City, UT
  • CONN TV
  • WFIF-AM, Hartford-New Haven, CT
  • Mississippi Hometown, Jackson, MS
  • Louisiana Hometown, New Orleans, LA
  • Sports Byline USA

ECFMG On-line Services Unavailable October 18-20

Due to scheduled maintenance, ECFMG’s on-line services are expected to be unavailable beginning at approximately 8:00 p.m. on Friday, October 18, 2019. Services are expected to be restored by 8:00 p.m. on Sunday, October 20, 2019. All times are calculated using Eastern Time in the United States.

During this maintenance period, you will be unable to access most ECFMG on-line services, including 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 (for staff of U.S. training programs that host ECFMG-sponsored exchange visitor physicians)
  • 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.

ECFMG’s IWA Unavailable October 16

Due to scheduled maintenance, ECFMG’s Interactive Web Applications (IWA) will be unavailable beginning at approximately 6:00 p.m. on Wednesday, October 16, 2019. Services are expected to be restored by 8:00 p.m. on the same day. All times are calculated using Eastern Time in the United States.

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

Possible Changes to USMLE Scores – Continuing the Discussion

A podcast featuring two members of the Invitational Conference on USMLE Scoring (InCUS) planning committee, Dr. Michael Barone, Vice President of Licensure Programs for the National Board of Medical Examiners (NBME), and Dave Johnson, Senior Vice President, Assessment Services for the Federation of State Medical Boards (FSMB), is now available on the USMLE website. They discuss themes from the public comments, upcoming improvements to USMLE, and insight into the vision for the program.

You can listen to the podcast on the USMLE website here.

Computer-Assisted Scoring Coming to Step 2 CS

The United States Medical Licensing Examination® (USMLE®) program is committed to applying the best available technology and the most current assessment practices to ensure accuracy and validity for all its examination programs. Beginning October 2019, computer-assisted scoring technology will be used to score patient notes created by examinees for the USMLE Step 2 Clinical Skills (CS) examination.

The use of computer-assisted scoring will not change the cost of the exam, nor the timing with which examinees receive their scores. The computer-assisted scoring program is based on the scoring rubrics developed by experienced physician note raters. For cases in which computer-assisted scoring is used, notes with machine scores below the 50th percentile in performance will also be scored by physician patient note raters. The machine scores and physician scores will then be averaged to produce the examinee’s score on the patient note portion of the Step 2 CS exam.

Much consideration has gone into the implementation of computer-assisted scoring. Most importantly, the crucial role of clinical judgment in the evaluation of Step 2 CS performances will be preserved. Second, the examinee experience will not be adversely affected. The expert judgment of physicians will be used on an ongoing basis for the development of patient note scoring guidelines and in the training of the computer-based scoring system.

Click here for FAQs related to computer-assisted scoring. To read more about NBME’s work with natural language processing, see a recent article in Academic Medicine here.

Examinees should monitor the USMLE website for the latest information.

Step 3 – Delay in Score Reporting

If you need to receive Step 3 scores before March 25, 2020, the United States Medical Licensing Examination® (USMLE®) recommends that you take the exam no later than December 31, 2019.

Most Step 3 scores are reported within four weeks of testing. However, because of necessary annual modifications to the test item pool, there will be a delay in reporting for some examinees who test in early 2020. The target date for reporting Step 3 scores for examinees testing in January and February 2020 is Wednesday, March 25, 2020.

No USMLE Step 1, Step 2 CK, or Step 3 examinations will be administered January 1-14, 2020.

Examinees should monitor the USMLE website for the latest information.

ECFMG On-line Services Unavailable September 24

Due to required updates, ECFMG’s on-line services are expected to be unavailable for a brief period beginning at approximately 6:00 p.m. on Tuesday, September 24, 2019. Services are expected to be restored by 7:00 p.m. on the same day. All times are calculated using Eastern Time in the United States.

During this update period, you will be unable to access most ECFMG on-line services, including 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 (for staff of U.S. training programs that host ECFMG-sponsored exchange visitor physicians)
  • 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 update period.

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

Certain ECFMG On-line Services Unavailable September 20-21

Due to scheduled maintenance, certain ECFMG on-line services are expected to be unavailable beginning at approximately 8:00 p.m. on Friday, September 20, 2019. These services are expected to be restored by 8:00 p.m. on Saturday, September 21, 2019. 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

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