ECFMG On-line Services Unavailable November 17

Due to scheduled maintenance, ECFMG’s on-line services will be unavailable from approximately 12:00 a.m. through approximately 5:00 p.m. on November 17, 2018. 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
  • 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
  • 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 Launches Resource to Help Students Select a Medical School

The Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates (ECFMG®) has launched a new resource for students who plan to apply to medical school. Designed to assist in identifying schools offering quality medical education, this new resource is a valuable tool for those who are beginning their medical education, as well as for current medical school students who plan to transfer to a different medical school. The new resource is available on the ECFMG website at www.ecfmg.org/medschoolselection.

Graduation cap and stethoscope FACEBOOK.jpgIn recent years, there has been rapid growth in the number of medical schools around the world, and there are a small number of schools that engage in spurious business practices. It also has become more common for students to migrate for medical education—attending medical school outside their home country. This situation creates challenges for students who are evaluating schools and deciding where to apply, according to William W. Pinsky, M.D., President and CEO of ECFMG and Board Chair of ECFMG’s Foundation for Advancement of International Medical Education and Research (FAIMER®).

“With more than 3,000 medical schools worldwide, selecting the right school can be an intimidating task and a significant financial investment,” Dr. Pinsky said. “Our new guide provides prospective medical students around the world with information on the characteristics to consider and questions to ask when evaluating medical schools before applying so they can make a well-informed decision.”

The guide covers such important considerations as accreditation status, curriculum, faculty, educational resources, and the structure of clinical rotations. It also prompts students to ask questions about the student experience, consider how schools market themselves, and talk to alumni about their success in and beyond medical school.

As leading experts on the world’s medical education systems and their graduates, ECFMG and its foundation are uniquely positioned to provide this important guidance to the next generation of physicians. The new resource is an important addition to the collection of services offered by ECFMG and FAIMER to physicians and the medical education community around the world.

ECFMG On-line Services Unavailable October 20

Due to scheduled maintenance, ECFMG’s on-line services will be unavailable from approximately 12:00 a.m. through approximately 5:00 p.m. on October 20, 2018. 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
  • 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
  • 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.

Modern Healthcare Again Names ECFMG/FAIMER a Best Workplace

Philadelphia-Based Non-Profit Also Receives Family-Friendliest Workplace Award

For the second consecutive year, the Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates (ECFMG) and its Foundation for Advancement of International Medical Education and Research (FAIMER) have been selected by Modern Healthcare as a Best Place to Work in Healthcare. ECFMG/FAIMER also received the Family-Friendliest Workplace Award for the second year in a row, and was a finalist for the Healthiest Workplace Award.

The Best Places to Work in Healthcare program identifies and recognizes outstanding employers in the health care industry nationwide. Modern Healthcare partners with the Best Companies Group on the assessment process, which includes an extensive employee survey.

“Being recognized by Modern Healthcare as a best place to work nationally is a tremendous honor, especially because it is based on the feedback of our employees,” said William W. Pinsky, M.D., President and CEO of ECFMG and Board Chair of FAIMER. “This honor reflects the passion our employees have for ECFMG/FAIMER and our vision to improve world health through excellence in medical education.”

Modern Healthcare published a feature story on ECFMG/FAIMER as the recipient of the Family-Friendliest Workplace Award. The complete list of this year’s winners is available here. Modern Healthcare will publish a special supplement featuring ranked lists of all the winners with the October 1 issue.

In addition to the Modern Healthcare honor, ECFMG/FAIMER was recognized earlier this year as a Top Workplace in Philadelphia by the Philadelphia Media Network, publishers of the Philadelphia Inquirer and Daily News.

President of the Foundation for Advancement of International Medical Education and Research (FAIMER®) Announces Retirement

John NorciniJohn J. Norcini, Ph.D., President and CEO of the Foundation for Advancement of International Medical Education and Research (FAIMER®), has announced that he will retire effective July 1, 2019. Dr. Norcini became FAIMER’s first president in May 2002, and has established numerous worldwide initiatives and programs in medical education, research, and data resource development during his 16-year tenure.

William W. Pinsky, M.D., President and CEO of the Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates (ECFMG®) and Board Chair of FAIMER, said an international search for Dr. Norcini’s successor will begin immediately.

“John’s dedication to FAIMER’s mission, his energy, and his broad vision have positioned FAIMER as a leader in the promotion of excellence in international health professions education through programmatic and research activities,” Dr. Pinsky said. “ECFMG’s and FAIMER’s board, staff, and partners are proud to share in John’s legacy.”

Dr. Norcini played an instrumental role in the development of FAIMER’s fellowship programs for health professions educators that include the FAIMER Institute, FAIMER Regional Institutes, and the International Fellowship in Medical Education (IFME)–a program originally sponsored by ECFMG, which transitioned to FAIMER in 2001. He championed the alignment of these programs with each other to create an educational pathway that allows international health professions educators to become outstanding local resources for improving health professions education.

Under Dr. Norcini’s supervision, the FAIMER Distance Learning program has flourished, offering health professions educators the knowledge and skills to advance health professions education at their institutions to the highest international standards. Since 2013, he has served as Co-Director of the FAIMER-Keele Master’s in Health Professions Education: Accreditation and Assessment program, conducted in partnership with Keele University and the Centre for Medical Education in Context (CenMEDIC); and he serves as lead faculty for the newly launched FAIMER-Gulf Medical University joint Master in Health Professions Education program.

Dr. Norcini has overseen FAIMER research activities in the broad domains of the international migration of physicians, U.S. physician workforce issues, and international medical education programs. FAIMER also designs and conducts studies focused on international health professions education, including the quality of medical schools and their graduates, international accreditation, licensure, and certification processes. FAIMER frequently conducts these investigations in collaboration with other institutes and researchers, and aims to inform policy makers in government, academia, and various other interested organizations.

FAIMER has also made significant strides in achieving its goal of building information resources on medical education worldwide under Dr. Norcini’s leadership. He has overseen the development of the Directory of Organizations that Recognize/Accredit Medical Schools (DORA), directories of master’s and doctoral programs in health professions education, the Postgraduate Medical Education (PME) Project, and the World Directory of Medical Schools—a resource created and maintained in collaboration with the World Federation for Medical Education.

Dr. Norcini received several awards and honors, including the 2014 Karolinska Institutet Prize for Research in Medical Education for his pioneering research on knowledge decay, specialty certification, and the development of new methods of assessment. In 2009, he received the National Board of Medical Examiners (NBME) John P. Hubbard Award for his commitment to excellence in medical education, his rigorous pursuit of high standards in scholarship, his broad and prolific publications and presentations history, and his tireless work on behalf of FAIMER. Dr. Norcini’s accomplishments in the field of assessment are considered both wide-ranging and pioneering.

Dr. Norcini has served on the editorial boards of seven peer-reviewed journals in measurement and medical education, has lectured and taught in nearly 50 countries, and has published extensively. He has served on countless committees contributing to the fields of education, assessment, and research.

Before joining FAIMER, Dr. Norcini spent 25 years with the American Board of Internal Medicine serving as Director of Psychometrics, Executive Vice President for Evaluation and Research, and Executive Vice President of the Institute for Clinical Evaluation. He earned his bachelor’s degree from LaSalle University and his doctorate from Bryn Mawr College.

ECFMG and FAIMER Establish Office of General Counsel

Francine Halushka Katz, Esq., Joins ECFMG and FAIMER in New Role

The Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates (ECFMG) and its Foundation for Advancement of International Medical Education and Research (FAIMER) have established an Office of General Counsel. Francine Halushka Katz, Esq., has joined ECFMG and FAIMER in this new role, also serving as Senior Vice President and a member of the organizations’ executive team.

According to ECFMG President and FAIMER Board Chair William W. Pinsky, MD FAAP FACC, the organizations are engaged in a strategic expansion of the services they provide to global communities of physicians, patients, medical educators, medical regulators, and researchers. He said the General Counsel will facilitate that strategic growth by supporting diverse activities including contracts and collaborations, policy development, investigation and notification of fraudulent activity, and the development and stewardship of the organizations’ data and information resources.

“The General Counsel is a critical component of advancing our mission to improve world health,” said Dr. Pinsky. “The addition of Ms. Katz as in-house counsel and a member of our leadership team has strengthened our ability to provide leadership, enhance service to constituencies, and protect the public.”

Ms. Katz, a resident of Huntingdon Valley, PA, has extensive experience in the health care and life sciences sectors in both non-profit and for-profit environments. Before joining ECFMG in March 2018, she served as Vice President and General Counsel at Saint Peter’s University Hospital in New Brunswick, NJ, and later at St. Joseph’s Healthcare System in Paterson, NJ. She has also served as Senior Attorney with Axiom Law—Life Sciences Group, NY and has consulted for RWJ Barnabas Health, New Jersey’s largest health care system. She earned her Juris Doctor degree, with a concentration in Health Law, from Georgetown University Law Center and a Bachelor of Science degree in Public Relations from the University of Florida. She is a member of the American Health Lawyers Association and the Association of Corporate Counsel and is engaged in a number of civic and community service activities.

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’s Perspective on Immigration Developments Published in Modern Healthcare

International medical graduates (IMGs) are essential to the U.S. health care system. In the September 10 issue of Modern Healthcare, ECFMG President and CEO, William W. Pinsky, MD, shares ECFMG’s perspective that restrictions on immigration for physicians could have unintended negative consequences on the delivery of quality health care in the United States.

“Immigration is directly connected to the physician shortage because meeting the health care needs of our population would be impossible without the continued contributions of doctors educated abroad,” he writes.

Read the full article.

Incomplete USMLE Exam Applications in IWA Will Be Deleted on September 12

As part of the transition to the ECFMG 2019 Information Booklet and exam application materials, any USMLE exam applications that have been saved but not submitted via ECFMG’s Interactive Web Applications (IWA) will be deleted. If you have a saved exam application in IWA, you must complete and submit the application, including payment, by 5:00 p.m., Eastern Time in the United States, on Wednesday, September 12, 2018. If you have begun but not yet submitted the on-line part of an exam application when IWA becomes unavailable on September 12, your incomplete application will be deleted. If your application is deleted, you will be required to begin a new application in order to apply for examination.