ECFMG|FAIMER Endorses Recommendations and Resources for Medical Students, Trainees, and Physicians during COVID-19

On May 11, the Coalition for Physician Accountability, of which ECFMG®|FAIMER® is a member, released final reports from two work groups that examined critical issues facing medical students, residents, medical educators, and medical regulators during the COVID-19 (Coronavirus) pandemic.

ECFMG|FAIMER membership on the work groups represented the unique needs and perspectives of international medical students/graduates (IMGs). ECFMG|FAIMER plays key roles in the transition of IMGs from undergraduate medical education to U.S. graduate medical education (GME)—certifying the readiness of IMGs to enter U.S. GME; serving as the designated “Dean’s Office” for IMGs using the Electronic Residency Application Service® (ERAS®) to apply to U.S. GME programs; and sponsoring foreign national physicians for the J-1 visa to participate in such programs. ECFMG|FAIMER also is a leading expert on the medical credentials issued to physicians by medical schools and other institutions around the world. These credentials are a core component of establishing the qualifications of physicians.

ECFMG|FAIMER strongly endorses the work groups’ recommendations.

  • Medical Students in the Class of 2021: Moving Across Institutions for Post Graduate Training

The current health care crisis presents new challenges for medical students/graduates, trainees, and U.S. GME programs. This work group considered three major issues in preparation for the 2020-2021 residency cycle during the COVID-19 pandemic: away rotations, in-person interviews for residency, and the ERAS timeline. The recommendations, detailed in the following documents, will provide a consistent approach to disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, greatly reducing unnecessary confusion, stress, and inequity among students, and promoting a more successful residency selection process for all.

  • Maintaining Quality and Safety Standards Amid COVID-19

The pandemic has created a public health emergency that is rapidly altering the provision of health care services across the country. Physicians and other clinicians have responded with offers to provide care outside of their previously licensed jurisdiction and beyond their typical scope of practice. This work group has developed the following guidance and resources for the deployment of physicians, physicians in training (interns, residents, and fellows), and retired or inactive physicians, to ensure the safe delivery of quality clinical care during this unprecedented emergency.

The Coalition work groups exemplify the collaboration required to create the best solutions for all stakeholders impacted by the pandemic. ECFMG|FAIMER looks forward to continuing to join with Coalition members and other partners to find those solutions.

ECFMG|FAIMER Assisting New Jersey in Bolstering COVID-19 Physician Workforce

ECFMG|FAIMER will assist the State of New Jersey by confirming the authenticity of certain credential information of internationally licensed physicians seeking temporary medical licensure to help in New Jersey’s fight against the COVID-19 (Coronavirus) pandemic. New Jersey announced its program to reinforce the state’s health workforce in a press release today.

ECFMG|FAIMER is the leading expert on the medical education and credentialing of physicians around the world. “During this public health crisis, we are proud to lend our expertise to the State of New Jersey,” said ECFMG|FAIMER President and CEO William W. Pinsky, MD. “We stand ready to assist other states and organizations in this time of need.”

More information on New Jersey’s program and an on-line portal for physicians who wish to register are available here. More information about ECFMG|FAIMER activities in response to the pandemic is available on this website.

ECFMG On-line Services Unavailable April 17-19

Due to scheduled maintenance, ECFMG’s on-line services are expected to be unavailable beginning at approximately 7:00 p.m. on Friday, April 17, 2020. Services are expected to be restored by 6:00 p.m. on Sunday, April 19, 2020. 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
    • GEMxSMfor 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|FAIMER Joins Physician Coalition in Support of Protections for Health Care Workers Battling COVID-19

The Coalition for Physician Accountability on Thursday issued a statement in support of strengthened efforts to safeguard the public and protect our nation’s health care workforce during the COVID-19 (Coronavirus) pandemic.

ECFMG|FAIMER offers its strongest endorsement of the Coalition’s call for adequate personal protective equipment (PPE) and adequate testing. Both are essential to protecting our frontline health care providers and their families, and to ensuring that they can continue to care for the public.

As the agency responsible for certifying international medical graduates (IMGs) for entry to U.S. programs of graduate medical education (GME), ECFMG|FAIMER has a special connection to the IMGs that comprise one-quarter of our nation’s physician workforce. ECFMG|FAIMER also is the sole J-1 visa sponsor of foreign national physicians in U.S. GME. In this role as visa sponsor, we are currently responsible for monitoring the well-being of nearly 12,000 J-1 physicians in all levels of training at teaching hospitals across the United States.

The Coalition exemplifies the collaboration that is needed at this time of national crisis. “ECFMG|FAIMER has been working closely with Coalition members and other partners to address many of the issues now faced by physicians,” said ECFMG|FAIMER President and CEO, William W. Pinsky, MD. “Only through continued collective leadership will we be able to provide adequate support to physicians who are serving and sacrificing on the front lines.”

As U.S. Licensing Authorities Seek to Expand Workforces, ECFMG|FAIMER Can Verify IMGs

In the United States, the individual states are responsible for setting medical licensure requirements for physicians in their jurisdictions. Individual state medical licensing authorities set licensure requirements both for graduates of U.S. medical schools and for international medical graduates (IMGs). State medical licensing authorities set requirements both for physicians in their states’ training programs and for their physicians in unsupervised practice.

For IMGs who have decided to seek training in the United States, ECFMG|FAIMER certifies their readiness to participate in such training programs. This certification process includes passing portions of the United States Medical Licensing Examination® (USMLE®). It also includes verifying their medical education credentials, including their final medical diploma, directly with the IMGs’ medical school. ECFMG does not recruit physicians for U.S. training programs, practice, or any other purpose, including emergency situations.

We are aware that many U.S. states have waived certain requirements for licensure and/or license renewals in response to the COVID-19 (Coronavirus) pandemic, as summarized by the Federation of State Medical Boards (FSMB). ECFMG|FAIMER stands ready to serve as the trusted authority for information about IMGs—information that state medical licensing authorities may need to determine if IMGs meet state licensure requirements.

At the physician’s request, ECFMG will verify whether an IMG is certified by ECFMG and has passed portions of the USMLE. Our credential services offer basic identity verification, as well as primary-source verification of the authenticity of medical education credentials. At the physician’s request, ECFMG|FAIMER will provide verifications of previously verified credentials or will verify new credentials. The medical credentials verified by ECFMG include medical diplomas, medical school transcripts, licenses, and certificates of registration from around the world. ECFMG|FAIMER has notified the FSMB, the governors of certain states, and the National Governors Association that it can verify information about IMGs who wish to serve in this time of crisis.

State medical licensing authorities, hospitals, and other institutions/agencies that would like assistance in verifying the ECFMG Certification status, USMLE exams, or credentials of IMGs may contact casemanager@ecfmg.org. IMGs who wish to offer their services should contact their local hospital or state medical licensing authority.

ECFMG|FAIMER does not license physicians and, therefore, cannot answer questions about whether individuals are eligible to provide health care services and what roles these individuals might play in providing care, on either a temporary or permanent basis. Please contact individual state medical licensing authorities with these questions.

For more information on the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on ECFMG|FAIMER programs and what we are doing in response, please visit our COVID-19 (Coronavirus) web page.

Announcement Regarding ERAS 2020 Token Issuance

Please note that you can no longer use ECFMG’s OASIS or the MyECFMG mobile app to request a Token for the ERAS 2020 season. If a program requests that you submit an ERAS application for the 2020 season and you do not already have a 2020 Token, please call (215) 966-3520 to reach an ERAS Support Services representative to request a 2020 Token.

If you plan to use ERAS to apply for residency positions that start on July 1, 2021, you can request a 2021 Token via ECFMG’s OASIS or the MyECFMG mobile app beginning in late June 2020.

ECFMG On-line Services Unavailable March 20-22

Due to scheduled maintenance, ECFMG’s on-line services are expected to be unavailable beginning at approximately 7:00 p.m. on Friday, March 20, 2020. Services are expected to be restored by 6:00 p.m. on Sunday, March 22, 2020. 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
    • GEMxSMfor 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|FAIMER Update on Impact of COVID-19 (Coronavirus) Pandemic

ECFMG|FAIMER is closely monitoring the development of the COVID-19 (Coronavirus) pandemic, as well as on-going guidance from the World Health Organization, U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, governments, and local public health authorities. In keeping with this guidance and our strong commitment to the health and safety of our employees, clients, and the public, we are making temporary changes to some programs and services. These changes include:

  • Postponement of the FAIMER Institute residential session, scheduled to take place in March 2020 in Philadelphia
  • Suspension of test administration for Step 2 Clinical Skills of the United States Medical Licensing Examination, in partnership with the National Board of Medical Examiners and the Federation of State Medical Boards, from March 16, 2020 through at least April 10, 2020
  • Canceling participation in domestic and international meetings

We also have transitioned our employees to working remotely. This will not only safeguard the well-being of employees, but also help to ensure the continuity of our services.

Finally, we are surveying certain stakeholders, including health professions education institutions around the world, to determine if there are local precautions, such as temporary closures of institutions, that might impact programs such as ECFMG Certification and our primary-source credential verification services. We will continue to monitor the status of our services and will provide updates on this website if there are any additional impacts.

We recognize that this situation may present significant disruptions to some who use our services. We are committed to providing support and assistance to clients in order to minimize these disruptions. Please note that, due to an exceptionally high volume of telephone and e-mail inquiries, we may be delayed in responding to inquiries.

Thank you for your patience and understanding during this challenging time. ECFMG|FAIMER extends best wishes for health and well-being to those that we serve around the world.

For more information on the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on ECFMG|FAIMER programs and what we are doing in response, please visit our COVID-19 (Coronavirus) web page.

ECFMG|FAIMER Customer Service Experiencing Exceptionally High Volume

Due to inquiries related to the COVID-19 (Coronavirus) pandemic, some customer service departments of ECFMG|FAIMER are currently experiencing exceptionally high call and e-mail volume. We understand the urgency and importance of many of the inquiries, and we are working diligently to respond. Despite these efforts, you may experience extended wait times in the telephone queues and delayed e-mail responses.

We appreciate your patience and understanding as we all navigate this challenging time.

For more information on the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on ECFMG|FAIMER programs and what we are doing in response, please visit our COVID-19 (Coronavirus) web page.