How to Get Your ECFMG Certificate

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The process of getting the ECFMG certificate can be a bit confusing and there is no clear instructions to get it unless you call the organization up for instructions, and I did just that.

ECFMG Certificate
What is the ECFMG?
It's the Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates, and it's the body that oversees the validation for international medical graduates for residency.

What is the ECFMG Certificate?
It's just a document that says you have fulfilled the criteria by the ECFMG and you are clear to start residency and you can take the USMLE Step 3.  Keep in mind, you need the permission of the State, that you reside in to take the USMLE Step 3; however, the criteria for each state varies.

Also, getting the certificate actually boosts your opportunity to get into residency.  Therefore, the faster you get the certificate, the better.

What is the process to get the certificate?
  1. First you have to register for the ECFMG.  When you register to take the USMLE tests, and you are an IMG, then you are already registered for ECFMG.
  2. Pass USMLE Step 1, Step 2 CK, Step 2 CS.
  3. Graduate from your medical school.
  4. Get your diploma and make two photo copies of it.
  5. Get two passport size color photos; they have to be within the latest 6 months.
  6. Get two copies of form 345-I (as of January 2015), and tape or glue your photo to the form.  The form has a certain place where you will have to put your picture on.
  7. Mail it by FedEx or UPS to:

    ECFMG
    3624 Market Street, 4th Floor
    Philadelphia, PA 19104-2685
    USA

  8. Wait till ECFMG gets your paper.  And then have your school verify your credentials if they use ECFMG portal.
  9. ECFMG will mail your certificate.

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Scheduling To Register for USMLE Step 1

A reader ask me to write about scheduling for the USMLE Step 1 so I'll make this short and to the point.  The entire registration process should take no more than a month.  Saint James School of Medicine officials are very fast in getting you cleared for the USMLE Step 1 once you fulfilled their criteria.  That is if you passed the NBME with the score they require and also if you passed their comprehensive exam.  At my time the comprehensive exam was ExamMaster, now I heard it's a noob exam or something.  After you passed both exams, you call or email SJSM and they will clear you after ECFMG has registered you and verified you.

The process is like this:

  • Register with ECFMG
  • Pass the exams SJSM has set for you, you must take each exam within a 30-day window
  • Contact SJSM to clear you and to approve you with ECFMG
  • Then choose your 3-month window period, and your test date
This process takes about a month to fully process it.


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A Calorie Burning Drink That Gives you Energy and Focus

If someone told me that a drink that gives me focus, I would've been like yeah I already heard about it, Red Bull or Monster.  I'd probably think it's pure bull.  But I never thought there was a drink made for calorie burning that gives me focus.

So what happened was I was walking by the water bottle isle in Jewel-Osco in Chicago and I saw a drink that was not hyped up, however it looks as if a lot of people bought it because there were few cans left.  The drink is called Aspire.  After drinking 1 can I noticed my mind is a bit calm and I was able to focus on my studies.  It doesn't act like a stimulant, the feeling is subtle.

Now I don't know if it burns calories like it claims; however it surely does something.  It has two factors that research shows that do burn calories: L-Carnitine and Green Tea Extract. 

I was curious of their claim and they decided to give a 2-weeks challenge of drinking two cans a day.  Their website claims that one should weight him or her self before starting the challenge and then weight him or her self after the 2 weeks. They claim that after two weeks of drinking 2 cans a day, you will loose weight without effort.  I couldn't' care less about the weight loss, but I do care about the vitamins and the energy it gives me without the sugar and the crash, which occurs when drinking Red Bull.

Try it and let me know what you experience.
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