I am ECFMG Certified

The following is a guest post.  It’s a contribution article from a graduated Saint James School of Medicine student.

ECFMG CertificateWell the time has come, I am ECFMG certified. Thank you Almighty for such a great success. It’s such a relief and I can’t believe it’s done. It was a long journey and accomplishing it is a great feeling. Of course the journey is not over yet; now I have to work on getting into residency but I’ll put that worry to the side and enjoy this moment and just reminisce on all the work that was put into it.

The process of getting the ECFMG certificate is a very simple process and SJSM did a great job in helping me get it. They were very supportive in getting my papers done fast and getting my credentials verified so the certificate would arrive at my house.

The certificate came in via FedEx and it was inside a hard paper cover. As you can see from he screenshot above that it looks nice and clean.

ECFMG CertificateThe certificate was placed under a plastic over. I displayed my certificate but I blurred out and blacked out my key information because I don’t want my information out there on the web.  As you can see this is it; this is what we were striving for the past couple of years. In order to get this certificate you have to pass the USMLE Step 1, USMLE Step 2 CK, USMLE Step 2 CS. The certificate displays the dates of the exams you passed, which is displayed on the bottom left corner.  It also has the date the certificate was issued on the bottom right corner.

All in all, I’ll tell you, if I can do it then you can too. It requires persistence in times of difficulty and confidence from the beginning to the end.

So what does it mean now?
What it means now is that I finally get to have DR before my name and MD after my name.  Also, I am now eligible to take the USMLE Step 3, which also depends on the State of residence.

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.

USMLE Step 1 and USMLE 2 CK Tests Will Not Be Merging

A reader asked if the USMLE Step 1 and USMLE Step 2 CK will be merging, and the answer is no. They are separate tests and they will stay separated according to the NBME.
According to the NBME:

Rumor: Step 1 is ‘going away’ or Step 1 and Step 2 CK are being combined into one exam.

This urban legend seems to spring from some misperceptions about the recommendations made by the Committee to Evaluate the USMLE Program (CEUP) with respect to the assessment of basic science. Early feedback from the wide variety of stakeholders surveyed to inform CEUP’s work told us that from both a licensing and an educational perspective, the separate design and administration of an examination of the basic sciences seems to create an artificial separation of basic and clinical sciences. This sentiment was frequently expressed by stakeholders, including faculty members from both the basic sciences and clinical sciences. The weight of opinion favored the integration of basic science and clinical science concepts throughout all examination components rather than the current segregation of basic science content in Step 1. This does not mean, however, that Step 1 will be eliminated from the USMLE sequence or that Step 1 and Step 2 CK will be combined.

Steps 1 and 2 CK will exist as separate, discrete examinations for at least the next several years. During this time, evolution in content coverage is likely. At some point as USMLE evolves, the current Step structure could shift. If this occurs, stakeholders will be advised of changes well in advance of any change. Plans for transitioning to a new structure will be provided well in advance so that the phase-in will be smooth and equitable, to minimize potential disruptions for examinees, schools, licensing boards, or other constituencies. Additionally, the NBME will be attentive to other uses of USMLE performance data and strive to meet educationally sound secondary uses.

I hope that clears up the rumors.  Always check with NBME and ECFMG if you are unsure about anything.