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:

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

  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.

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
  • Contact SJSM to clear you and to approve you with ECFMG
  • Pass the per-qualifiying exam SJSM has set for you
  • Then choose your 3-month window period, and your test date

This process takes about a month to fully process it.