News

ECFMG On-line Services Unavailable September 18-20

Due to scheduled maintenance, ECFMG’s on-line services are expected to be unavailable beginning at approximately 7:00 p.m. on Friday, September 18, 2020. Services are expected to be restored by 6:00 p.m. on Sunday, September 20, 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
  • Application for Pathways for ECFMG Certification for 2021 Match
  • 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.

Temporary USMLE Step 3 Eligibility Requirements Are in Effect

Last month, the United States Medical Licensing Examination® (USMLE®) program announced temporary USMLE Step 3 eligibility requirements during the suspension of the USMLE Step 2 Clinical Skills (CS) examination. The temporary eligibility requirements, applicable to examinees who have not yet passed the Step 2 CS, are in effect within the Step 3 registration system starting Sept. 3, 2020 at 1 p.m. U.S. Central Time.

Examinees should read the full announcement on the USMLE website.

Application for Pathways for ECFMG Certification for 2021 Match Now Available

The on-line Application for Pathways for ECFMG Certification for 2021 Match is now available. Qualified international medical students/graduates (IMGs) who intend to participate in the 2021 Main Residency Match® and are unable to take Step 2 Clinical Skills (CS) of the United States Medical Licensing Examination® (USMLE®) due to the suspension of that exam may be able to meet the requirements for ECFMG Certification through one of five pathways.

Eligibility requirements and detailed instructions for applying to the pathways, including information on required documentation, application timing, fees, and a limited exceptions process, are available on the ECFMG website.

In order to ensure adequate time to address any technical issues that may arise with the new pathways application, please note that it may be unavailable between the hours of 7:00 p.m. and 10:00 p.m., U.S. Eastern Time, Monday through Friday, in the coming business days if updates are necessary.

ECFMG|FAIMER Statement on Pathways Fees

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.

ECFMG|FAIMER Has Updated Its Privacy Notice

ECFMG|FAIMER has updated its Privacy Notice. We made these changes, which are effective August 28, 2020, to help ensure that our Notice aligns with evolving privacy regulations and our privacy practices.

You can access our revised Privacy Notice at https://www.ecfmg.org/annc/privacy.html.

Your continued use of ECFMG|FAIMER programs and services, including websites and mobile apps, following the posting of changes will mean that you accept the changes.

We look forward to continuing to be of service and to protecting the privacy and security of your personal information.

Detailed Information on Pathways Application Process Now Available

On August 20, ECFMG|FAIMER published additional information on the new requirements for ECFMG Certification for the 2021 Match. The new information includes detailed instructions for applying to the pathways, which will allow qualified IMGs who have not passed Step 2 CS to meet the requirements for ECFMG Certification and the 2021 Match. Information on required documentation, application timing, fees, and a limited exceptions process also is available.

Potential applicants can use this information to preview the on-line application process and to prepare for the launch of the on-line pathways application at the end of August.

ECFMG On-line Services Unavailable August 22

Due to scheduled maintenance, ECFMG’s on-line services are expected to be unavailable beginning at approximately 8:00 a.m. on Saturday, August 22, 2020. Services are expected to be restored by 5:00 p.m. 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
  • 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.

New Practice Materials and Helpful Information for USMLE Step 1 and Step 2 CK Exams Now Available

Updated practice materials are available for examinees planning to take the United States Medical Licensing Examination® (USMLE®) Step 1 exam on or after October 20, 2020 and for examinees planning to take Step 2 Clinical Knowledge (CK) on or after November 11, 2020.  The updated materials reflect the previously announced Step 1 and Step 2 CK content distribution changes.

Read the full announcement on the USMLE website here.

ECFMG On-line Services Unavailable August 14-16

Due to scheduled maintenance, ECFMG’s on-line services are expected to be unavailable beginning at approximately 7:00 p.m. on Friday, August 14, 2020. Services are expected to be restored by 6:00 p.m. on Sunday, August 16, 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
  • 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
    • GEMx SM 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.

Update on New Requirements for ECFMG Certification for 2021 Match

ECFMG®|FAIMER® has established five pathways that will allow qualified international medical graduates (IMGs) who have not passed Step 2 Clinical Skills (CS) of the United States Medical Licensing Examination® (USMLE®) to meet the requirements for ECFMG Certification. These pathways are available to eligible IMGs who plan to enter U.S. graduate medical education (GME) for the 2021-2022 academic year.

Since announcing the pathways in mid-June, ECFMG|FAIMER has been working aggressively to develop additional information and processes that will enable IMGs to use the pathways. In this announcement, we provide some important updates on these efforts:

Application for Pathways for ECFMG Certification for 2021 Match Available by End of August

This week, ECFMG|FAIMER announced that the on-line application process for the pathways will be available by the end of August. Detailed instructions for using the application will be published in approximately mid-August, allowing potential applicants to preview the process and make advance preparations.

As published by the Association of American Medical Colleges, during the 2021 application season for the Electronic Residency Application Service (ERAS®), residency programs may begin reviewing applications on October 21, 2020. This is approximately one month later than prior years. This delay, implemented as a result of the major issues facing applicants and training programs as they prepare for the 2021 residency application cycle, will allow IMG applicants additional time to meet pathway requirements.

Additional Resources

ECFMG|FAIMER has published a 20-minute webinar tailored to the needs of leaders in the U.S. GME community. The webinar provides additional details about the new requirements for ECFMG Certification for the 2021 Match and answers some frequently asked questions received from members of U.S. GME. The webinar is available from Resources in the Requirements for ECFMG Certification for 2021 Match section of the ECFMG website.

ECFMG|FAIMER also has published an expanded set of frequently asked questions about the Occupational English Test (OET) Medicine, the English language proficiency assessment that is required of all IMGs who pursue a pathway. ECFMG|FAIMER recently confirmed that IMGs pursuing a pathway must take OET Medicine by December 31, 2020 to help ensure enough time for ECFMG|FAIMER to determine applicant status and report that status to the National Resident Matching Program® by the NRMP® Rank Order List Certification deadline for the 2021 Match.

Preliminary Volume Indicators for IMGs in 2021 Match

ECFMG|FAIMER is the designated Dean’s Office for all IMGs who use ERAS to apply to first- and second-year (PGY-1 and PGY-2) residency positions in U.S. GME. To begin the ERAS application process, IMGs must obtain an ERAS Token from ECFMG|FAIMER. Through the end of July, ECFMG|FAIMER issued more than 11,400 ERAS 2021 Residency Tokens to IMGs, the same number when compared to last year at this time.

Pre-registration is available to IMGs who plan to take OET Medicine to satisfy the English language proficiency requirement associated with the pathways. As of this writing, more than 8,500 individuals have pre-registered to take OET Medicine.

Please continue to visit the ECFMG website, since additional resources and updates will be published as they become available.