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The ECFMG Certificate for IMGs

What is the ECFMG?

The Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates was founded in 1956 for the purpose of screening the IMGs to ensure that they meet the minimum requirements to enter residency or fellowship programs in the United States by providing them the ECFMG certificate after passing the USMLE Step 1, 2CS and 2CK. The progress to get the certificate starts when you first apply to any USMLE step where ECFMG will request you to sign in for ID and fill the Certification of Identification Form (Form 186) OASIS / IWA and will ask your medical school to verify and certify your medical school credentials to make sure you are eligible for entering residency programs in the USA.

Why ECFMG Certificate?

1- It is a must to enter any ACGME-accredited residency and fellowship in the USA.

2- Although you can apply to residency programs in September through ERAS without having the certificate initially however you must become eligible for it (but not necessary get it physically, just passing the required steps and credentials verification by ECFMG) before the NRMP ROL rank submission deadline which is usually around February.

3- The ECFMG Certification is a requirement to apply to the USMLE Step 3 which is required to get H1B visa for those interested in it. Also Step 3 is mandatory to get unrestricted license to practice medicine in any State after residency.

How Long is the ECFMG Certificate valid? Does it have an expiration date?

The ECFMG certificate is valid for life once you get it. No more expiration dates.

When do I receive my ECFMG Certificate?

Once you finish your required steps ie- USMLE Step 1, 2CS, 2CK, then if ECFMG already received and verified your medical school credentials then you will receive it by fedex within 2 weeks to the address you entered in your OASIS account

What are the requirements needed to be eligible for ECFMG Certificate?

1- Pass the USMLE Step 1, 2CS and 2CK
2- ECFMG must receive the verification and certification of your medical diploma from your medical school. NRMP will communicate with the ECFMG to make sure you are verified and will reflect that in your NRMP account.

So in summary the ECFMG Certificate is neither needed to apply to the match nor it is required to be ranked in the NRMP R3 system. You need to meet all the requirements to be ECFMG certified by the NRMP list submission deadline date. You do not have to fill any application to get your certificate, it will automatically come.

9 Posts
Hey, thanks for the wonderful post. I am an IMG and i had few questions regarding ecfmg certifcation.
If Step 1 score and the medical school diploma/ credentials are verified and the CS/CK result comes by september 14, then will ECFMG certify me (online) immediately? Will my ERAS application be sent in as ECFMG certified if everything else for ERAS has been filled out and uploaded)
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