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ECFMG Eligibility

The Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates (“ECFMG”) is an organization that ensures international medical graduates (“IMG”) are qualified to practice in the United States. This article will talk about what ECFMG requirements IMGs need to meet in order to be eligible for residency or fellowship programs, USMLE Step 3, and licensure.

What is an IMG?

An international medical graduate is someone who has graduated from a medical school outside of the US. They are required to go through ECFMG certification in order to practice medicine in the United States. IMGs have already completed their education, but need to meet specific requirements before they can enter residency programs or take Step-III on the three step series for licensure exams.

What does an IMG Need?

IMGs must: pass both parts of a computer based examination called Test of English as Foreign Language (TOEFL), complete and successfully submit all four sections of the Medical College Admissions Test (MCAT) with no score lower than 500 which includes writing and verbal reasoning, obtain at least one year’s work experience after

It is a requirement for IMGs to:

  • Enter residency or fellowship programs that are accredited by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME)
  • Take Step of the three-step United States Medical Licensing Examination (USMLE)
  • Obtain an unrestricted license to practice medicine in the United States.

IMGs need ECFMG Certification as part of their qualifications for ACGME accreditation, USMLE Steps and licensure. There are two ways they can get it–through certification through completion of a medical school program, or through demonstration proficiency during training at institutions outside North America with teaching methods similar to those found in U.S. medical schools.

Requirements for ECFMG Certification

The requirements for ECFMG Certification include:

  • Currently enrolled student or graduate of a medical school that meets ECFMG requirements;
  • Primary-source verification of your medical education credentials.
  • Completion of the Application for ECFMG Certification, including the notarized Certification of Identification Form (Form 186);
  • Satisfying the examination requirements (medical science examination requirement and clinical skills requirement).