The Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates (ECFMG), through its program of certification, assesses whether international medical graduates are ready to enter residency or fellowship programs in the United States that are accredited by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME).
ECFMG and its organizational members define an international medical graduate as a physician who received their basic medical degree or qualification from a medical school located outside the United States and Canada. To be eligible for ECFMG Certification, the physician's medical school and graduation year must be listed in the World Directory of Medical Schools. To verify that a particular medical school and graduation year are listed, access the directory.
Citizens of the United States who have completed their medical education in schools outside the United States and Canada are considered international medical graduates; non-U.S. citizens who have graduated from medical schools in the United States and Canada are not considered international medical graduates.
ECFMG Certification assures directors of ACGME-accredited residency and fellowship programs, and the people of the United States, that international medical graduates have met minimum standards of eligibility required to enter such programs. ECFMG Certification does not, however, guarantee that these graduates will be accepted into programs, since the number of applicants frequently exceeds the number of available positions.
ECFMG Certification is one of the eligibility requirements for international medical graduates to take Step 3 of the three-step United States Medical Licensing Examination (USMLE). Medical licensing authorities in the United States require ECFMG Certification, among other requirements, to obtain an unrestricted license to practice medicine.
For information about certification and examination requirements, please refer to the ECFMG Information Booklet.