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Immigration for Medical Professionals: ECFMG Certification

If you are an international medical professional who is interested in completing your residency in the United States, you have likely wondered what steps to take in order to make your career goal a reality. One possible solution is to become ECFMG certified.

The ECFMG, or Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates, is a non-profit organization that provides certification for international medical graduates that are seeking to complete their residency or fellowship program in the United States. An international medical graduate is any graduate who received their medical education outside of the United States or Canada, regardless of whether they are United States citizens or have citizenship in a foreign country.

Certification is required not only for graduates to enter ACGME programs, but also as a prerequisite for IMGs to take the final step of the United States Medical Licensing Examination. In order to obtain ECFMG certification, IMGs must submit an application to ECFMG. In addition to the application, medical science examination and medical education criteria must be met.

Medical science examination requirements

There are two medical examination requirements that international medical graduates must fulfill: 1) the medical science examination criteria and 2) the clinical skills requirement. The medical science examination criteria can be satisfied by completing the USMLE Step 1 and Step 2 Clinical Knowledge exams. The clinical skills requirement is fulfilled by passing the USMLE Step 2 Clinical Skills exam.

Medical education credentials requirement

To fulfill the medical education credentials requirement, international medical graduates must meet all the following requirements:

  1. They have graduated from a school that is listed in the World Directory (available online, this directory provides a list of schools whose graduates are eligible to apply for ECFMG certification);
  2. They have been awarded credit for four years from a World Directory school;
  3. They provide documentation that shows the following: completion of the requirements for a medical degree, receipt of a medical degree, a copy of the applicant’s final medical school transcripts, and transfer credit verification if applicable;
  4. They provide primary-source verification of both the diploma and transcripts

Assistance with immigration for medical professionals

If you are an employer or international medical graduate who is interested in finding out more about ECFMG certification or general immigration issues affecting medical professionals, contact the business immigration lawyers at FordMurray today.