ECFMG®|FAIMER® recently announced the fees for applying to the pathways for ECFMG Certification for the 2021 Match. Since publishing the fees, we have received questions and feedback on the fees and our process for determining them. We value this feedback and wish to share the following information.
ECFMG|FAIMER is committed to the continuity of the ECFMG Certification program and the vital service it provides to the U.S. public and GME community and to physicians around the world who wish to train in the United States. We also are committed to operating in the most efficient way possible while also ensuring that we fulfill our mission of promoting quality health care.
In establishing the pathways, ECFMG|FAIMER moved quickly and aggressively to build a new, comprehensive operational infrastructure, including a new technology platform. Although the fees associated with the pathways partially cover the cost of this investment and ongoing implementation, they do not offset 2020 and 2021 operating losses resulting from the suspension of USMLE Step 2 CS.
As part of the current requirements for ECFMG Certification, the pathways are designed mindfully and based on metrics in order to ensure that only qualified international medical graduates (IMGs) are eligible to enter U.S. graduate medical education (GME), where they provide supervised patient care. The pathway fees will enable evaluation of pathway applications by ECFMG|FAIMER staff with expertise in the world’s medical education, accreditation, and licensure systems. The fees also enable the primary-source verification of medical credentials, as well as evaluation of other documents submitted in support of pathways applications.
Like the fees collected by ECFMG|FAIMER for the former USMLE Step 2 CS exam, the pathways fees contribute to our broad support of IMGs who pursue ECFMG Certification and U.S. GME. This support includes:
- Advocacy for IMGs and the vital role they play in U.S. GME and health care
- Telephone and e-mail access to an Applicant Information Services team for customer service
- Free resources to help IMGs orient to the U.S. residency application process and health care system, allowing them to be better prepared in applying to U.S. GME
- Multi-lingual staff to help support our interaction with thousands of medical schools, regulatory agencies, and other institutions worldwide, which facilitates the credential verification process
- Building and maintaining on-line systems that IMGs may use for on-line access to their accounts and transactions with ECFMG|FAIMER
In keeping with our nonprofit status and mission, we are committed to careful monitoring and control of the costs of operating our programs and services. Likewise, in determining fees for our services, we give careful consideration to the impact of fees on the diverse community of individuals we serve and their ability to access our services.