News

IMG Performance in the 2012 Match

For the tenth consecutive year, the number of first-year (PGY-1) residency positions offered through the National Resident Matching Program (NRMP) Main Residency Match increased. A total of 24,034 first-year positions were offered in the 2012 Match. This represents an increase of 613 positions compared to last year and an increase of more than 3,400 positions since 2002.

The number of IMGs, including Fifth Pathway participants, who matched to first-year positions increased by 260 compared to 2011. Of the 11,134 IMGs who participated in the 2012 Match, 4,886 (43.9%) matched. In the 2011 Match, 4,626 (44.2%) IMGs were matched to first-year positions.

Of the 6,828 IMG participants who were not U.S. citizens, 2,775 (40.6%) obtained first-year positions. The number of non-U.S. citizen IMGs who obtained positions in 2012 increased by 54, after declining for the two previous years.

Of the 4,279 U.S. citizen IMG participants, 2,102 (49.1%) were matched to first-year positions, an increase of 218 over last year. This is the ninth consecutive year that there has been an increase in the number of U.S. citizen IMGs matching to first-year positions.

Of the 27 Fifth Pathway participants in the Match, 9 (33.3%) were matched to first-year positions.

It is important to note that the total number of IMGs who will fill PGY-1 positions for the 2012-2013 academic year will be higher than the number obtaining positions through the 2012 Match. Although the majority of PGY-1 positions in the United States are filled through the Match, a significant number of IMG applicants obtain positions outside of the Match. For example, while 4,686 IMGs obtained PGY-1 positions through the 2010 Match, 7,023 IMGs entered PGY-1 for the 2010-2011 academic year.

The 7,023 IMGs entering PGY-1 for the 2010-2011 academic year is a decrease of 312 from the prior year but an increase of 950 since the 2002-2003 academic year.

About the Match

The annual NRMP Match is the system by which applicants are matched with available residency positions in U.S. graduate medical education (GME) programs. Participants submit to the NRMP a list of residency programs, in order of preference. Ranked lists of preferred residency candidates are likewise submitted by U.S. GME programs with available positions. The matching of applicants to available positions is performed by computer algorithm. The Match results announced in March of each year are for GME programs that typically begin the following July.

Additional Resources on the Match and Match Results

The preceding data are taken from the Advance Data Tables for the 2012 Main Residency Match compiled by the NRMP. These tables provide detailed information on the positions offered and filled by the Match in 2012 and prior years. To access these tables, or to obtain further information on the NRMP, visit www.nrmp.org.

The June issue of Academic Medicine, the journal of the Association of American Medical Colleges, usually offers an analysis of Match results from the preceding March. For more information, visit your medical school’s library or www.academicmedicine.org.

The September issue of JAMA: The Journal of the American Medical Association traditionally provides an in-depth analysis of graduate medical education in the United States. This analysis includes the number of IMGs entering and continuing in U.S. GME programs and a breakdown of IMG resident physicians by specialty and subspecialty. Visit your medical school’s library or http://jama.ama-assn.org.

Delay in USMLE Step 1 Score Reporting

Most score reporting of Step 1 results occurs within four weeks of testing. However, because of necessary modifications to the test item pool, there will be a delay in reporting for some examinees testing beginning in mid-May 2012. The target date for reporting Step 1 scores for most examinees testing from mid-May through late June will be Wednesday, July 11, 2012.

Examinees should monitor the USMLE website for the latest information.

Updated Practice and Orientation Materials for Step 2 Clinical Skills (CS) Exam Have Been Posted

As previously announced, a new patient note and redesigned Communication and Interpersonal Skills subcomponent will be introduced in the USMLE Step 2 CS examinations beginning June 17, 2012. Updated practice and orientation materials reflecting these changes have been posted to the USMLE website.

Examinees who plan to take the Step 2 CS examination on or after June 17, 2012 should review the updated materials, which include:

• An updated version of the CS Content Description and General Information booklet
• An updated onsite orientation CS video
• A new version of the practice patient note program
• New sample patient notes

View full announcement on the USMLE website.

Mid-2012 Temporary Shutdown of Step 2 Clinical Skills (CS) Testing; Score Report Delay for Examinees Testing June 17, 2012 through November 3, 2012

As previously announced, changes to the Step 2 Clinical Skills (CS) examination are scheduled for implementation beginning June 17, 2012. As a consequence of the introduction of these changes, exam scheduling and result reporting will be impacted for some individuals.

  • There will be no Step 2 CS examinations delivered from May 20 through June 16, 2012.
  • The interval between testing and score reporting for examinees testing from June 17, 2012 through November 3, 2012 will be 2-3 weeks longer than for examinees testing during other periods.
  • Examinees will continue to receive a graphical performance profile on the second page of their Step 2 CS score report. However, due to the need to accumulate data on these new changes over an extended period, individuals who test on or after June 17, 2012 will see less detailed feedback on their graphical performance profiles than has been provided to examinees in the past. The performance profiles are provided as an assessment tool for the examinee’s benefit and are not reported or verified to any third party. The profiles summarize relative areas of strength and weakness to aid in self assessment.

Please note that examinees who test on or before December 31, 2012 will have scores reported in time for the 2013 “Match.”

More information about the Step 2 CS score reporting dates for examinations delivered in 2012 is provided in the Step 2 CS Score Reporting Schedule.

ECFMG On-line Services Unavailable March 24, 2012

Due to scheduled maintenance, ECFMG’s on-line services will be unavailable from approximately 9:00 a.m. through approximately 5:00 p.m. on March 24, 2012. All times are calculated using Eastern Time in the United States.

During this maintenance period, you will not be able to access any of ECFMG’s on-line services. For more information on the services that will be unavailable during this maintenance period, visit the On-line Services Overview page.

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

ECFMG Launches Electronic Verification of Medical Credentials

The Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates (ECFMG), a world expert on international medical schools and the credentials they issue, is pleased to announce the launch of an electronic process for verifying the medical education credentials of international physicians who seek entry into the U.S. health care system.

In January 2012, after more than a year of intensive development, a pilot of ECFMG’s electronic Credentials Verification program was launched with participation from approximately 20 international medical schools. Participating institutions use Credentials Verification to electronically receive and verify the medical education credentials of their students and graduates who apply to ECFMG.

For more than 50 years, through its certification program, ECFMG has assessed whether international medical graduates are ready to enter U.S. graduate medical education programs. As part of this certification program, ECFMG requires international physicians to provide copies of their medical education credentials, specifically medical diplomas and transcripts. Since 1986, ECFMG has verified applicant credentials by mailing copies directly to the issuing institutions. The electronic Credentials Verification program represents a significant advance over the paper primary-source verification process, benefiting medical schools and their students/graduates while maintaining ECFMG’s rigorous standards for primary-source verification.

ECFMG’s President and Chief Executive Officer, Emmanuel G. Cassimatis, M.D., comments, “ECFMG’s role in verifying the medical education credentials of international physicians is critical to protecting the public. Electronic Credentials Verification revolutionizes the way we perform this vital function.”

Read the press release.

Fee to be Implemented for Application for ECFMG Certification

Effective January 30, 2012, there will be a fee of $50 for submitting an Application for ECFMG Certification. The Application for ECFMG Certification is a requirement for international medical students/graduates pursuing ECFMG Certification. International medical students/graduates must submit an Application for ECFMG Certification before they can apply to ECFMG for examination. Once an Application for ECFMG Certification has been submitted to ECFMG, it typically remains valid throughout the certification process. More information on the Application for ECFMG Certification is available in the ECFMG 2012 Information Booklet.

ECFMG On-line Services Unavailable January 24, 2012

Due to scheduled maintenance, ECFMG’s on-line services will be unavailable from approximately 6:00 p.m. through approximately 8:00 p.m. on January 24, 2012. All times are calculated using Eastern Time in the United States.

During this maintenance period, you will not be able to access any of ECFMG’s on-line services. For more information on the services that will be unavailable during this maintenance period, visit the On-line Services Overview page.

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

REMINDER: New Rules on Repeating USMLE Examinations

ECFMG would like to remind applicants that the USMLE program is introducing new rules on repeating USMLE examinations.

Time between Examination Attempts
The USMLE program sets rules on how quickly examinees can repeat the same Step or Step Component. As previously published, these rules will change for exam applications submitted on or after January 1, 2012.

For exam applications submitted on or after January 1, 2012, the following rules will apply to all Steps and Step Components. You may take the same examination no more than three times within a 12-month period. Your fourth and subsequent attempts must be at least 12 months after your first attempt at that exam and at least six months after your most recent attempt at that exam. Attempts at that examination (complete and incomplete) prior to January 1, 2012 will be counted in determining whether these rules apply. When you reapply, your exam eligibility period will be adjusted, if necessary, to comply with these rules.

For more information and examples, view the full announcement.

Attempt Limit for USMLE Examinations
As previously published, the USMLE program is introducing a limit on the total number of times an examinee can take the same Step or Step Component. When this limit takes effect, an examinee will be ineligible to take a Step or Step Component if the examinee has made six or more prior attempts to pass that Step or Step Component, including incomplete attempts.

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.

  • If you have not taken any Step or Step Component before January 1, 2012, the six-attempt limit will go into effect for all exam applications that you submit on or after January 1, 2012.
  • If you have taken any Step or Step Component (including incomplete attempts) before January 1, 2012, the six-attempt limit will go into effect for all exam applications that you submit on or after January 1, 2013.

For more information and examples, view the full announcement.

IWA Unavailable December 31-January 1

Due to required maintenance, ECFMG’s Interactive Web Applications (IWA) will be unavailable from approximately 4:00 p.m. on December 31, 2011 through approximately 12:15 a.m. on January 1, 2012. All times are calculated using Eastern Time in the United States.

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.