ECFMG Basics

The ECFMG is the organization charged with ensuring that physicians who have graduated from foriegn medical schools are qualified to pursue a medical license in the United States. Being certified by the ECFMG is a pre-requisite to applying for the USMLE Step 3 exam, and a pre-requisite for entering an ACGME-accredited residency program. Visit for details and official requirements.

Eligible Medical Schools

Only students who attended medical schools listed in the International Medical Education Directory (AKA IMED) are eligible to apply for ECFMG certification. The standards are even more strict than simply being listed: a student’s year of graduation must also be listed in the IMED database. That is, if you graduated from a medical in a year that your school was not accredited by IMED, you cannot apply to the ECFMG.

Examination Requirements to Apply for ECFMG

In addition to the medical education portion of the requirements, applicants must pass USMLE Step 1, USMLE Step 2 (clinical knowledge and clinical skills). As long as you are eligible to take these exams, you may take them in any order. For detailed information on requirements visit the ECFMG official site.

Residencies can be hard to find for international medical graduates. A variety of resources are available to help with the match and scramble, we recommend the IMG Residency Guide.

ECFMG Certification Resources

ECFMG home page – the official site that provides up-to-date requirements and application materials
ECFMG OASIS – allows online access to ECFMG applicants status information
IMED – FAIMER – The International Medical Education Directory
USMLE Step 1
information on scores, excellent prep options, and specialty expectations.
USMLE Step 2 preparation and scoring information
USMLE Step 3 Information
Caribbean Medical Schools
Foreign Medical Schools

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