News

ECFMG 2013 Information Booklet and Application Materials Are Available

The ECFMG 2013 Information Booklet and the 2013 exam application materials are now available on the ECFMG website.

For Step 1/Step 2 CK, you can use the 2013 materials to apply for:

  • available Step 1/Step 2 CK eligibility periods ending in 2012 (September 2012-November 2012 and October 2012-December 2012) and
  • all Step 1/Step 2 CK eligibility periods ending in 2013, beginning with the November 2012-January 2013 eligibility period.

For Step 2 CS, you can use the 2013 materials to obtain a 12-month eligibility period that begins on the date that the processing of your application is completed.

(posted August 1, 2012; updated September 12, 2012)

IWA Unavailable September 11-12

Due to required maintenance, ECFMG’s Interactive Web Applications (IWA) will be unavailable for up to 24 hours, beginning at 6:00 p.m., Eastern Time in the United States, on September 11, 2012.

During this maintenance period, you will be unable to perform any IWA transactions, including working on or submitting an Application for ECFMG Certification or USMLE exam application; accessing a USMLE scheduling permit; or requesting an extension of a USMLE Step 1 or Step 2 CK eligibility period.

Thank you for your patience and cooperation as we work to maintain high-quality on-line services.

FAIMER and WFME to Collaborate on Combined Medical School Directory

The Foundation for Advancement of International Medical Education and Research (FAIMER®) and the World Federation for Medical Education (WFME) have announced a collaboration to develop a combined directory of the world’s medical schools. According to an agreement signed in March 2012, the organizations will merge their respective directories—FAIMER’s International Medical Education Directory (IMED) and WFME’s Avicenna Directory—to produce a single comprehensive resource on undergraduate medical education worldwide. The new resource, developed in collaboration with the World Health Organization and the University of Copenhagen, will be known as the World Directory of Medical Schools.

The world’s medical schools number more than 2,500. Collecting and maintaining data on these schools is a large and complex endeavor. The merger of IMED and the Avicenna Directory will combine FAIMER’s and WFME’s existing data sets and streamline their data collection efforts. The new World Directory will include all schools listed in either IMED or the Avicenna Directory. The World Directory listing for schools that meet ECFMG eligibility requirements will be annotated as acceptable for ECFMG Certification.

The new World Directory will offer enhanced information in areas such as enrollment, curricula, and accreditation. The availability of current, high-quality information on undergraduate medical education in the form of a centralized resource will advance research on the quality of medical education and efforts to improve medical education, with the ultimate goal of improving public health.

The World Directory is expected to become available in 2013. During the transition to the World Directory, IMED and the Avicenna Directory will remain open, to ensure that users of these directories have continuity of the essential service that they provide. IMED and Avicenna will close when the World Directory of Medical Schools is fully operational. Updates on the transition to the World Directory will be posted to the FAIMER and ECFMG websites, as they become available.

Now Available: ECHO’s August Resources for ECFMG-certified Physicians

Each month, the ECFMG Certificate Holders Office (ECHO) publishes free resources for ECFMG-certified physicians, and those about to be certified, who are planning their careers.

ECHO is pleased to announce the following new resources for August.

ECHO provides support and service to ECFMG-certified physicians, and physicians about to be certified, as they plan their careers. In addition to providing valuable resources, ECHO offers certified physicians ways to stay connected with ECFMG and its expertise. Through ECHO, certified physicians can also connect with information from other organizations and experts, and with each other. ECHO offers new ways for certified physicians to communicate with ECFMG, for example, by participating in ECHO’s monthly surveys and sending feedback to ECHO.

For more information, visit the ECHO section of the ECFMG website at www.ecfmg.org/echo.

New ECFMG Program Provides Support and Service to International Medical Graduates

ECFMG® is pleased to announce the launch of the ECFMG Certificate Holders Office (ECHO), a new program that provides support and service to ECFMG-certified physicians, and physicians about to be certified, as they plan their careers. ECHO expands on the resources offered by ECFMG’s former Acculturation Program.

ECHO provides free resources that allow international medical graduates (IMGs) to be better prepared and organized in making important career decisions. In addition to allowing them to access ECFMG’s expertise, ECHO also enables IMGs to connect with other experts and organizations, and with each other, to learn, share, and network. ECHO’s feedback mechanisms offer new ways for IMGs to communicate with ECFMG on an ongoing basis, establishing a dialogue between ECFMG and the physicians it certifies.

As ECFMG’s President and Chief Executive Officer, Emmanuel G. Cassimatis, M.D., observes, “Providing these additional services to the physicians we certify enhances their professional development. ECHO also strengthens the relationship between ECFMG and IMGs, extending our connection beyond ECFMG Certification and ensuring opportunities for IMGs to tell us what they need and how we can better meet these needs.”

Read the press release.

ERAS Support Services at ECFMG Eliminates Original Document Policy

The Electronic Residency Application Service (ERAS®) Support Services at ECFMG no longer requires that letters of recommendation (LoRs) and Medical Student Performance Evaluations (MSPEs) submitted as part of an ERAS residency application be original documents. This change took effect for the ERAS 2013 season, which opened in June 2012.

Prior to this change, ERAS Support Services at ECFMG required that all LoRs and MSPEs submitted as part of an ERAS application be original documents. In accordance with this policy, ERAS Support Services at ECFMG made a visual inspection of every LoR and MSPE submitted via mail. If a document was determined to be a copy, and not an original, ERAS Support Services at ECFMG stamped the document as follows:

COPY–Originals Required For This Document Type
ERAS Support Services

Since implementation of the original document policy in 2006, ERAS Support Services has developed web-based methods for receiving supporting documents electronically rather than receiving paper documents by mail. As a result, most supporting documents can be submitted electronically to ECFMG, including LoRs and MSPEs. Web-based submission of supporting documents is available to ERAS applicants, representatives of their medical schools, and individuals writing LoRs on their behalf. The elimination of the original document policy reflects the growing number of supporting documents received electronically.

It is important for program directors to note that applicants who participated in ERAS 2012 and who participate in ERAS for 2013 may reuse supporting documents from the ERAS 2012 application season. This means that, for ERAS 2013, program directors may still receive supporting documents stamped with the above annotation. Program directors should disregard this annotation and not disfavor the associated application.

ERAS 2013 Residency Tokens Now Available

Residency Tokens for the ERAS 2013 application season are now available through ECFMG’s On-line Applicant Status and Information System (OASIS). You can use a 2013 Token to register with AAMC’s MyERAS beginning on Sunday, July 1, 2012.

If you plan to apply for U.S. residency positions that begin in July 2013, visit the ERAS Support Services section of the ECFMG website for important information and instructions on how to obtain an ERAS Token.

Attempt Limit for USMLE Examinations

Examinees who have made six or more attempts to pass a Step or Step component, including incomplete attempts, should be aware that all applications to register for additional attempts will not be processed unless they are submitted on or before December 31, 2012. This limit was first announced in August of 2011.

The effective date for the six-attempt limit depends upon whether an examinee has taken any Step or Step Component (including incomplete attempts) before January 1, 2012.

  • Examinees who had NOT taken any Step or Step Component before January 1, 2012
    If you did not take any Step or Step Component before January 1, 2012, the six-attempt limit went into effect for all exam applications that you submitted on or after January 1, 2012.

Example 1: On January 15, 2012, Examinee A submits his application for his first attempt at any Step or Step Component. The six-attempt limit is effective at that time for all Steps and Step Components and Examinee A will be allowed to take each Step or Step Component no more than six times, including incomplete attempts.

  • Examinees who have taken any Step or Step Component before January 1, 2012
    If you have taken any Step or Step Component (including incomplete attempts) before January 1, 2012, the six-attempt limit is in effect for all exam applications that you submit on or after January 1, 2013.  After that date, all attempts at a Step or Step Component will be counted toward the limit, regardless of when the exams were taken.

Example 2: Examinee B’s application for a seventh attempt at a particular Step or Step Component is received on December 15, 2012. For this examinee, the six-attempt limit will not prevent the seventh attempt, since the application was submitted before January 1, 2013.  However, if Examinee B fails the exam, he will not be eligible to submit an application after January 1, 2013 to retake that Step or Step Component.

Example 3:  Examinee C attempts to submit an application for a seventh attempt at a particular Step or Step Component on or after January 1, 2013. The application will not be processed, since all exam applications submitted on or after January 1, 2013 will be subject to the six-attempt limit.

Please refer to the 2012 Bulletin of Information for more complete information on time and attempt limits.