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Certification News

ECFMG Celebrates 50th Anniversary

In 2006, ECFMG is celebrating 50 years of promoting excellence in international medical education. Established in 1956 to evaluate the qualifications of international medical graduates entering graduate medical education in the United States, ECFMG has grown to meet the needs of physicians, medical educators, licensing and credentialing agencies, and those involved in the evaluation and certification of health care professionals worldwide.

In conjunction with its 50th anniversary, ECFMG has introduced a redesigned logo. Our new identifier continues to convey the global scope of our mission, while providing a contemporary image for the organization as it begins its second half-century. In early 2006, documents related to ECFMG Certification, including the Standard ECFMG Certificate, were redesigned to reflect ECFMG’s new logo.

Another highlight of this anniversary year was our invitational conference, Impact of International Medical Graduates on U.S. and Global Health Care, in July 2006. It was our privilege to host more than 200 world leaders and visionaries in the fields of medical education and research representing 24 countries to consider important issues in international medical education and global health care. The conference is indicative of the important partnerships we enjoy with members of the international medical community as we pursue our mission of promoting excellence in international medical education. We are pleased to note that proceedings of the conference will be published in a special supplement to Academic Medicine.

More information on ECFMG’s anniversary, including changes to documents related to ECFMG Certification, is available on this website.

On-line Application Process Will Be Simplified for Medical School Students

ECFMG is planning a significant enhancement to its Interactive Web Application (IWA) for applicants who are medical school students. This enhancement will allow students to complete the IWA application on-line, without submitting a paper certification form for each application.

After this change takes effect, medical school students who apply using IWA will complete the on-line portion of the application and then complete and return a paper Certification of Identification Form (Form 186) that remains valid for five years. Once ECFMG has received and accepted Form 186, the entire exam application process can be completed on-line during the five-year period that the Form 186 is valid.

Although Form 186 will remain valid for five years, ECFMG will continue to verify with the medical school the eligibility of medical school students who are registered for an exam. See Eligibility for Examination.

This enhancement to IWA is expected to be available for medical school students in early 2007. Medical school graduates have been using this simplified process since August 2005. Monitor the ECFMG website for more information on this upcoming enhancement.

Electronic Scheduling Permits for Step 1 and Step 2 CK

Applicants registered for Step 1 and Step 2 CK receive a scheduling permit that provides instructions for scheduling a testing appointment and other important information. At the time of publication, scheduling permits for Step 1 and Step 2 CK were paper documents sent by postal mail. It is expected that Step 1/Step 2 CK scheduling permits will be changed from paper documents to electronic documents. Monitor the ECFMG and USMLE websites for additional information on this change. See Your Scheduling Permit.

Change to ECFMG’s Policy on Annotating ECFMG Status Reports and CVS Reports

Effective August 31, 2006, when the ECFMG Medical Education Credentials Committee has made a finding of irregular behavior, additional information explaining the basis for the finding of irregular behavior and the resulting action will accompany every ECFMG Status Report and Certification Verification Service (CVS) Report and may also be provided to legitimately interested entities. This additional information will be provided if there is a finding of irregular behavior made on or after August 31, 2006, regardless of the date of the conduct or activity that gave rise to the finding. For complete information, see Irregular Behavior in General Applicant Information and Irregular Behavior in Medical Education Credentials.

The ECFMG® Reporter

Applicants who supply their e-mail addresses to us as part of the application process will automatically receive our electronic newsletter, The ECFMG® Reporter. The ECFMG® Reporter provides important information regarding the ECFMG certification process and entry into graduate medical education in the United States. The ECFMG® Reporter may also advise you of services and programs offered by other organizations in connection with the certification process or graduate medical education in the United States.

The ECFMG® Reporter is a free publication. ECFMG will not share The ECFMG® Reporter subscriber database with third parties. Interested individuals can join or leave The ECFMG® Reporter subscriber list or update their e-mail addresses at any time by visiting or by writing to: Director of Communications, ECFMG, 3624 Market Street, Philadelphia, PA, 19104-2685, USA.

[Last update: 31 August 2006]