Last Updated on April 9, 2024


International medical graduates (IMGs) make up approximately 25% of the total U.S. physician workforce. This astounding number is expect to rise year in and year our. In order to maintain a high standard level of medical practice, certification by ECFMG is the standard for evaluating the qualifications of these physicians before they enter U.S. graduate medical education (GME). Once incorporate into graduate medical education (GME), International Medical Trainees provide supervised patient care.

Why do I need ECFMG Certification?


ECFMG Certification is a mandatory requirement for IMGs (International Medical Graduates) to enroll in the multiple steps of the United States Medical Licensing Examination (USMLE) and to obtain an unrestricted license to practice medicine in the United States. ECFMG provides assistance with the following integral steps towards practicing medicine in the United States:

  1. Assist with the process of applying to Graduate Medical Education (GME) in the United States
  2. Sponsor Foreign nationals for J-1 Visas
  3. Verification Service allowing GME programs, medical boards, hospitals and licensing bodies to verify an Internal Medical Graduates credentials.
  4. Support and Service to ECFMG-certified physicians as they being their medical careers.



International Medical Graduates

The USMLE Step 2 CS (Clinical Skills) is facilitated by ECFMG in partnership with the National Board of Medical Examiners (NBME). The NBME or “Shelf” exam provides a standardized methodology of evaluating medical trainees in both knowledge and clinical skills. The USMLE Step 2 CS is a mandatory component for all International Medical Graduates (IMGs) applying to the United States. The USMLE Step 2 CS is also mandatory for Canadian medical schools wishing to be licensed in the United States and Canada. This partnership between the NBME and ECFMG ensures physicians entering the use as part of the Graduate Medical Education (GME) stream have the fundamental clinical skills necessary to effectively provide patient care under supervision.


The ECFMG founded the non-for-profit organization, FAMIER (Foundation for Advancement of International Medical Education and Research). FAIMER is responsible for the training of international medical educators supervising ECFMGs, in addition to building the research arm of ECFMG. FAIMER offers training in leadership, health professional education, medical research, physician migration and U.S. physician workforce related issues.

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