News

ECFMG On-line Services Unavailable January 4

Due to scheduled maintenance, ECFMG’s on-line services are expected to be unavailable beginning at approximately 3:00 p.m. on Saturday, January 4, 2020. Services are expected to be restored by 11:00 p.m. on the same day. 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 Closing for New Year’s Holiday

ECFMG will close for the New Year’s holiday at 2:00 p.m., Eastern Time (ET) in the United States, on Tuesday, December 31. We will be unavailable for calls and e-mails until we reopen at 9:00 a.m., ET, on Thursday, January 2.

ECFMG staff wish you a happy, healthy 2020, and we look forward to working with you in the coming year.

Fee Increases for 2020

Effective January 1, 2020, fees for the following ECFMG applications/service requests will increase:

  • The fee for Application for ECFMG Certification will be $145.
  • The examination fees for USMLE Step 1 and Step 2 Clinical Knowledge (CK) will be $965 for each exam registration.
  • The examination fee for Step 2 Clinical Skills (CS) will be $1,600 for each exam registration.
  • The fee for an extension of eligibility period for USMLE Step 1 and Step 2 CK will be $90.
  • The fee for a change of testing region for USMLE Step 1 and Step 2 CK will be $85.
  • The fee for rescheduling a Step 2 CS testing appointment will be 0-$1,300 (depending on the date of cancellation).
  • The fee for a Certification Verification Service (CVS) request will be $55.
  • The fee for an application for J-1 visa sponsorship will be $350.

The new fees will be assessed for all applications/requests submitted to ECFMG on or after January 1, 2020 (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 2020 Information Booklet and the Fees page of the ECFMG website.

ECFMG On-line Services Unavailable December 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, December 20, 2019. Services are expected to be restored by 6:00 p.m. on Sunday, December 22, 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.

Step 2 CS Testing Appointment Arrival Time to Change in 2020

Effective January 3, 2020, the arrival time for the United States Medical Licensing Examination® (USMLE®) Step 2 Clinical Skills (CS) testing appointments will be 15 minutes earlier than in 2019, due to additional security check-in procedures at the testing centers.  During check-in, test center staff will scan examinees with a handheld or walk-through device designed to detect prohibited items.

New arrival times at all CSEC centers

  • AM Sessions:   7:30 AM
  • PM Sessions:   2:30 PM

If you are currently scheduled to take Step 2 CS on or after January 3, 2020, please log in to the Step 2 CS Calendar & Scheduling system to print your confirmation notice with the updated arrival time.

Please note that you must comply with all security procedures for entry into the exam. 

For more information on examination day and testing procedures, please refer to the USMLE Bulletin of Information.

If you have questions, please contact your registration entity, either the Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates (ECFMG) at info@ecfmg.org, or the National Board of Medical Examiners (NBME) at webmail@nbme.org.

Examinees should monitor the USMLE website for the latest information.

ECFMG/FAIMER Convenes Stakeholders to Discuss Impact of Hahnemann University Hospital Closure

The Boards of the Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates (ECFMG®) and its Foundation for Advancement of International Medical Education and Research (FAIMER®) held a biannual Stakeholder Engagement Forum on Friday. The Forum explored the impact of the closure of Philadelphia-based Hahnemann University Hospital, which occurred earlier this year and was the largest permanent displacement of medical trainees in U.S. history.

Doctor holding sign that reads "Closed"The closure of Hahnemann displaced about 570 medical residents and fellows, including 55 international physicians sponsored by ECFMG to train on J-1 visas. According to Dr. William W. Pinsky, President and CEO of ECFMG and Board Chair of FAIMER, several of the organizations represented at the Stakeholder Engagement Forum joined in a coordinated effort to assist the displaced trainees.

“The closing of Hahnemann University Hospital had a significant impact on the city of Philadelphia, especially its patients. It also was a wake-up call for our nation,” Dr. Pinsky said. “Given the economics of health care in the United States, such incidents are likely to happen again. By engaging with other leading organizations like those represented here today, we will be better prepared to coordinate efforts to protect the interests of patients and the physicians in training who are a vital part of our physician workforce.”

Forum participants included John Andrews, M.D., Vice President, GME Innovation, American Medical Association; David Johnson, Chief Assessment Officer, Federation of State Medical Boards; David Kountz, M.D., Board of Directors, Alliance of Independent Academic Medical Centers; John Prescott, M.D., Chief Academic Officer, Association of American Medical Colleges; and Kevin Weiss, M.D., MPH, Chief Sponsoring Institutions and Clinical Learning Environment Officer, Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education. They joined ECFMG/FAIMER Trustees for the half-day session.

Held twice annually in Philadelphia, the Stakeholder Engagement Forums offer the opportunity for industry thought leaders to share perspectives on emerging trends and pressing issues and to strengthen partnerships among organizations involved in medical education and health care worldwide.

USMLE Review Focuses on Patient Individuality

Mitigating bias and eliminating unjustified patient stereotypes are important initiatives in teaching, learning and assessment. Concerns about bias have been raised in the academic literature, the media, among students and faculty at schools of medicine, and by patients.

The United States Medical Licensing Examination® (USMLE®) program remains cognizant of these topics. Characteristics of a patient such as age, sex, gender identity, and occupation are sometimes mentioned within the case vignettes in test items. Some patient characteristics may be important inputs into the diagnostic reasoning process. Others may lead to incorrect conclusions and misdiagnoses. Among the latter are characteristics associated with harmful patient stereotypes.

The USMLE program treats race as a social construct not linked to biology or susceptibility to disease. This is similarly true of ethnicity and “culture” or heritage. Ancestry, if known, may be biologically important, and thus may be relevant to factors relating to health and disease. In addition, when and if these characteristics are to be considered they should be considered on the basis of patient self-report, not the assumption of a health care provider. The USMLE program views patients as individuals, just as medical practice should and does.

Examinees should refer to the full announcement on the USMLE website.

USMLE Score Reporting Schedule

Scores for all United States Medical Licensing Examination® (USMLE®) Step examinations will be released as regularly scheduled on Wednesday, December 18, 2019. Scores for all USMLE Step examinations will also be released on Tuesday, December 24, 2019.

Only Step 2 Clinical Skills (CS) score reports will be released on Tuesday, December 31, 2019.

All USMLE scores will be released as regularly scheduled on Wednesday, January 8, 2020.

Examinees should monitor the USMLE website for the latest information.