New Enhancement to ECFMG Certification of Identity Process for Applicants

Verifying your identity for the purpose of ECFMG Certification is now more convenient and accessible. Effective September 13, 2018, ECFMG began requiring that the Certification of Identification Form (Form 186) be completed on-line using NotaryCam.com. NotaryCam provides convenient, on-line access to professionally licensed and certified U.S. notaries. Both on-demand and scheduled NotaryCam sessions are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year. The fee for using the NotaryCam service is included in the fee for Application for ECFMG Certification. If you have questions about how NotaryCam works, visit the Frequently Asked Questions page of their website.

Applicants for ECFMG Certification will complete the Certification of Identification Form (Form 186) as part of their Application for ECFMG Certification, which is completed before applicants can submit an application for the United States Medical Licensing Examination® (USMLE®). Detailed instructions and information on how to complete Form 186 using NotaryCam are provided as part of the Application for ECFMG Certification.

If you already have a valid Certificate of Identification Form (Form 186) on file, it will remain valid for five years from the date it was accepted. If your Certification of Identification Form (Form 186) expires or becomes invalid for any reason, you will be required to complete a new form using NotaryCam. A Certification of Identification Form (Form 186) completed and notarized by NotaryCam typically will be valid indefinitely.

IMPORTANT NOTE: ECFMG continues to request/require student or graduate status verification for all international medical students and graduates who apply to ECFMG for a USMLE exam, directly from their medical school. Status verification will be completed with medical schools either electronically through the Status Verification program of the ECFMG Medical School Web Portal (EMSWP) or via a paper Certification Statement (Form 183) for those students and graduates whose medical schools do not participate in the electronic program. If you need a Certification Statement (Form 183) it will be presented to you at the end of the on-line USMLE application.

(posted August 24, 2018, updated September 17, 2018)

2019 Information Booklet on ECFMG Certification and Application Materials Now Available

ECFMG’s 2019 Information Booklet on ECFMG Certification and the 2019 exam application materials are now available on the ECFMG website.

For Step 1/Step 2 CK, you can use the 2019 materials to apply for:

  • available Step 1/Step 2 CK eligibility periods ending in 2018 (September 2018-November 2018 and October 2018-December 2018) and
  • all Step 1/Step 2 CK eligibility periods ending in 2019, beginning with the November 2018-January 2019 eligibility period.

For Step 2 CS, you can use the 2019 materials to obtain a 12-month eligibility period that begins on the date that the processing of your application is completed.

Please monitor the ECFMG website, and follow ECFMG on Facebook and Twitter, for updates and important information.

(posted August 9, 2018, updated September 14, 2018)

ECFMG Statement on Supreme Court Decision to Uphold Visa Restrictions in Presidential Proclamation

Today, the U.S. Supreme Court rendered its decision to uphold the visa restrictions in the Presidential Proclamation issued in September of last year. While the Court’s decision does not change the visa restrictions currently in force, it does represent the latest in a series of immigration developments that are shaping the environment in the United States, the environment that many from around the world, including talented health care professionals, aspire to join.

The Court’s decision comes just days before the traditional start of the academic year for U.S. programs of graduate medical education—those medical specialty and subspecialty training programs that transform medical school graduates into practicing physicians. Each year, thousands of foreign national physicians are selected for such training programs, and their qualifications are vetted thoroughly by the Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates. These physicians provide much-needed health care services, enrich the clinical learning environment with their international perspectives, and add diversity to the U.S. physician workforce.

In the United States, where one-quarter of our physicians have received their medical degree outside the United States and Canada, the ability to provide accessible, high-quality health care depends on our ability to continue to attract highly qualified physicians from around the world. Anything that disrupts the flow of these talented and qualified professionals into the United States will have a negative and potentially long-term impact on patient care.

We urge immigration policymakers to consider the many contributions that foreign national physicians make to our health care system and our economy, and to ensure that United States remains an attractive option for the best and brightest minds from around the world.

MyECFMG Mobile App Update Offers New Features for ERAS Applicants

ECFMG is pleased to announce that an update is now available for the MyECFMG mobile app. This update offers new features for users who are participating in the Electronic Residency Application Service (ERAS®). Eligible*, registered ERAS residency applicants can now use their smartphone’s camera to scan and upload their Medical Student Performance Evaluation (MSPE), medical school transcript, photograph, and Postgraduate Training Authorization Letter (PTAL) via the app. Or, if applicants already have the document saved in a cloud-based personal storage location (such as OneDrive, Google Drive, Dropbox, iCloud, etc.), they can access the file there and upload it through the MyECFMG mobile app. The app also features push notifications that are sent if an applicant has not uploaded a required document. To learn more about supporting documents for an ERAS application, please visit ERAS Support Services for Applicants.

*Please note: If you are a student or graduate of a medical school that participates in ECFMG’s EMSWP ERAS program, you are not eligible to upload MSPEs or medical school transcripts through MyECFMG. You will need to contact the Dean’s Office at your medical school to request that your school upload the document on your behalf.

For more information on login requirements for the MyECFMG mobile app, what you can do with the app, and a link to download it for free to your smartphone or tablet, visit http://www.ecfmg.org/resources/myecfmg-mobile-app.html.

If you are using MyECFMG, please use the app’s Feedback function to let us know what you think of it! We welcome your input to help us improve MyECFMG.

(Posted May 14, 2018; updated June 1, 2018)

IMGs Show Strong Performance in the 2018 Match

IMG Match Rates are Highest in 25 Years

International medical graduates (IMGs) showed strong performance in the 2018 Main Residency Match®, according to results published today by the National Resident Matching Program® (NRMP®). The NRMP Match determines where medical school graduates will enter residency (medical specialty) training each year in the United States.

While the overall number of IMGs participating in the Match declined by 211 compared to last year, their success rate in obtaining first-year residency positions was 56.5%, up from 53.3% last year.

Among U.S. citizen IMGs, 2,900 (57.1%) matched to first-year residency positions, an increase of 123 over last year. The number of U.S. citizen IMGs matching to first-year positions has increased in 13 of the last 15 years. For non-U.S. citizens, 3,962 (56.1%) matched, an increase of 148 positions. This is the seventh annual increase in the number of non-U.S. citizen IMGs who matched. For both groups, these match rates are the highest since 1993.

Today’s results show 16 consecutive years of growth in the number of first-year residency positions offered through the Match. In the 2018 Match, 30,232 first-year positions were offered, an increase of 1,383 (4.8%) compared to 2017 and a cumulative increase of more than 9,500 positions since 2002.

“The success of IMGs in this year’s Match demonstrates the importance of this talented and qualified pool of applicants for U.S. training programs,” said ECFMG President & CEO William Pinsky, M.D. “The growth in available residency positions, particularly in primary-care specialties like Internal Medicine, represents continued opportunities for IMGs interested in training in the United States.”

A detailed infographic on IMG performance in the 2018 Match can be found here.

About IMGs in U.S. Health Care

IMGs, physicians who received their medical education from medical schools outside the United States and Canada, comprise one-quarter of physicians in training and practice in the United States. IMGs are essential to the U.S. graduate medical education (GME) and health care systems, ensuring that our physician workforce is adequate to care for patients. IMGs frequently specialize in primary care, practice in medically underserved areas, and add much needed diversity to our physician workforce.

[posted March 16, 2018; updated April 27, 2018]

ECFMG Joins National Academy of Medicine’s Action Collaborative on Clinician Well-Being and Resilience

ECFMG is pleased to be a part of the Action Collaborative on Clinician Well-Being and Resilience, a new initiative of the National Academy of Medicine (NAM) that includes more than 130 health care organizations around the globe. By joining the collaborative, ECFMG and the other member organizations are making a formal commitment to take actions that improve clinician well-being and reduce clinician burnout.

Every year, ECFMG sponsors more than 10,000 foreign national physicians in J-1 visa status to participate in U.S. clinical training programs. These residents and fellows face a number of challenges, including the stresses of living and working in a foreign country, in addition to the significant demands of their training programs. ECFMG and its Exchange Visitor Sponsorship Program (EVSP) are refining a number of initiatives to support these physicians and meet their unique needs.

To learn more, read ECFMG’s Commitment to Physician Well-Being and Resilience statement on the NAM website.

Fee Increases for 2018

Effective January 1, 2018, fees for the following ECFMG applications/service requests will increase:

  • The examination fees for USMLE Step 1 and Step 2 Clinical Knowledge (CK) will be $910 for each exam registration.
  • The examination fee for Step 2 Clinical Skills (CS) will be $1,565 for each exam registration.
  • The fee for rescheduling a Step 2 CS testing appointment will be 0-$1,285 (depending on date of cancellation).
  • The fee for a Certification Verification Service (CVS) request will be $45.

The new fees will be assessed for all applications/requests submitted to ECFMG on or after January 1, 2018 (Eastern Time in the United States).

For more information on the fees associated with applying for ECFMG Certification and for USMLE Step 1, Step 2 CK, and Step 2 CS, refer to the ECFMG 2018 Information Booklet and the Fees page of the ECFMG website.

Updated Information on September 2017 Presidential Proclamation for USMLE Step 2 CS Examinees

Updated information on enforcement of President Trump’s September 2017 Presidential Proclamation, “Enhancing Vetting Capabilities and Processes for Detecting Attempted Entry into the United States by Terrorists or other Public-Safety Threats,” including enforcement of visa restrictions, is available on the Resources on Presidential Proclamation page.

Examinees are encouraged to monitor the Resources on Presidential Proclamation web page. New information, as it becomes available, will be posted there.

Information on Presidential Proclamation for USMLE Step 2 CS Examinees

On September 24, 2017, President Trump issued a proclamation which modified key components of Executive Order 13780, including the country-specific travel restrictions. Information on the proclamation that may be relevant to United States Medical Licensing Examination® (USMLE®) Step 2 CS examinees is available on the Resources on Presidential Proclamation page.

Examinees are encouraged to monitor the Resources on Presidential Proclamation web page. New information, as it becomes available, will be posted there.

UPDATE: Presidential Proclamation Enhancing Vetting Capabilities and Processes for Detecting Attempted Entry into the United States by Terrorists or Other Public-Safety Threats

On September 24, 2017, President Trump signed a proclamation that limits the entry of certain foreign nationals to the United States. This new proclamation effectively replaces Executive Order 13780, which expired on that same day.

At this time, ECFMG is reviewing the proclamation in consultation with immigration counsel and other organizations in the U.S. medical education community. As we determine what impacts the proclamation might have on international medical students and graduates, we will communicate directly with individuals that we believe may be affected. We also will provide updates to officials of U.S. graduate medical education programs.

Additional information is available on the Resources on Presidential Proclamation web page. Updates will be posted to this web page as they become available.

[posted September 26, 2017; updated October 5, 2017]