ECFMG certified in 12 months: an IMG experience (Part V/V: from Application the the end) - USMLE Forums
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IMG Residency Match Forum International Medical Graduates (IMGs) discussing the residency matching process.

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Old 09-21-2012
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Registration ECFMG certified in 12 months: an IMG experience (Part V/V: from Application the the end)

I am putting my experience here, partitioned over the different usmle-forums. For the whole thread at once:


I won`t go in detail hear about the match experience as I have just applied to programs via ERAS and don`t yet know what to come. I will just tell about my experience to that point.

The registration started on July, 1st with tokens acquired from the ECFMG OASIS portal starting June, 26 for 100 $. The token is a unique number used for one time registration to MyERAS. On registration, I was assigned an AAMC number to participate in the match. You have all the time to prepare your application till the ERAS post office opening date more than 2 months ahead, so take your time. Starting this year, for the 2013 match, documents like Letters of recommendation (LORs), medical school transcripts, photo, California letter -for IMG applicants to the California state programs-, and the medical school performance evaluation (MSPE) can be scanned and uploaded directly to MyERAS through your OASIS portal at the ECFMG. For myself, I had no US LORs but 4 good ones from my 7 years of practice in Egypt. I also had no MSPE at my faculty back home in Egypt, and on the miscellaneous tab in the MyERAS application I checked No for the question if I am going to provide one.

I would just recommend one thing, be realistic on applying to programs. Don`t apply only to high-ranking university positions with lower than average scores. And it`s always better to put back-up programs when applying. Also, research well the programs you`re applying for. For my experience, after I initially prepared my program list to apply, I discovered that 60 % of them do not provide H1b visa, that I am aiming for, at all. Many of them also had a 3 year or 5 year graduation year cut-off, that will not go with me. The FRIEDA service at the American medical association (AMA) site provides great insight to program specifics. Refer finally to program web sites for more details.

I registered early in September with my AAMC number , for 50 $ and prepared my profile. The NRMP is a separate entity from ERAS and you shall register to both separately. I shall rank my matching preferences through the NRMP next February I hope.

USMLE step 3:
This test is not mandatory while applying for the match, and is required by most programs to be passed in the first 6 months of the residency program. But, I thought to take it now. IMGs applying to residencies in the United States are granted a J1 visa (exchange visitor) via the ECFMG to join their matched residency programs. After this visa expires, e.g. after the residency program 3-4 years according to the program, you have to go back to you home country for 2 years before you can ever visit the United States again. Some candidates manage to get waivers to extend their stay (research: For someone who intends to apply for a subspecialty fellowship, I cannot risk it. The alternative to the J1 visa is the H1b visa. It needs me, once ECFMG certified, to apply to the USMLE step 3 in one of the 12 states that do not require a prior graduate medical education, as most others do. The USMLE step 3 study material is the same for USMLE step 2 CK exam, using the same books, but focusing more on treatments, communication skills and so on. The test results are required before the end of January by most programs providing an H1b visa. This means you need to take the test in early December as results will be available in 4-8 weeks. The match year USMLE step 3 cycle opens by October, 1st and closes by the end of next August. Once application is accepted, you have only 45 days to take the test with the eligibility period starting automatically on accepting the application. So I intend to apply in early November, and hope to make it.


I hope this experience be of value to newbie candidates. And I hope every one shares his experiences on the different forums to help ourselves with this long, somehow complicated process.

Whatever comes out of this, like I don`t know now, I know I did great. I never thought a year ago that I would make to ECFMG certification and be applying to the 2013 match, that I am doing now. It was a hell of a year, but this was a job well-done. Again, thank god.

Mostafa Elguindy
Tanta. September 20, 2012

Recommended sites and links:


- ECFMG yearly information bulletin:


- USMLE information bulletin:

year manual available on registration

year manual available on registration

- Road map to Residency: from application to the match and beyond. 2nd edition:

- USMLE forums:

- Though primitive, and mainly for Egyptian candidates, this helped me on initial registration to ECFMG:
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The above post was thanked by:
tootsie (09-25-2012)

Old 09-22-2012
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Congratulations..your efforts on being certified within a year are commendable indeed. Good post... However, I see the need for one clarification.. You have written that step 3 eligibility period is 45 days. Is this new? As per the bulletin I was thinking it is 90 days. .. please see an extract from the official usmle bulletin below
".......Upon complete processing of your Step 3 application and confirmation of eligibility, a Scheduling
Permit will be issued to you with instructions for
making an appointment at a Prometric Test Center.
On receipt of your Scheduling Permit, you should
contact Prometric immediately to schedule the test
dates. The Scheduling Permit specifies the eligibility period (beginning immediately and extending for
approximately 90 calendar days) during which you
must complete the examination...."
Please clarify soon....and also update the source of your information if the above bulletin is no longer current
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The above post was thanked by:
Mostafa Elguindy (09-25-2012)
Old 09-25-2012
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For the usmle-forums stuff:

Thank you guys

For anakinra:

Thanks for the correction, my friend. You are totally right. I corrected the Facebook note. I hope your correction is enough here.
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