October 13, 2020 zae

ECFMG Certificate: Requirements and Importance

The Bureau of Labor Statistics has predicted that one of the next decade’s fastest-growing industries in the US is healthcare. Last 2018, the US healthcare workforce surpassed the number of people working in other industries. This made it accountable for most employment opportunities in the country. Therefore, it will be wise to pursue a career in the US medical field. Why? Because the job will always be in-demand. However, before you become a healthcare professional, you must first obtain an ECFMG certificate, especially if you are an international medical graduate.

What is an ECFMG certificate?

An ECFMG certificate is a professional recognition from the Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates (ECFMG). The commission awards these to international medical graduates (IMG) seeking residency and fellowship programs accredited by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME).

Without an ECFMG certificate, international medical graduates cannot enter ACGME-accredited programs and become licensed physicians. This is because ECFMG certification is a requirement to gain admission into schools and organizations providing ACGME-accredited residency and fellowship.

About the commission

The Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates is the agency that assesses the skills and readiness of an IMG who wishes to enter the US healthcare workforce. It is also the body that registers and reports United States Medical Licensing Examination (USMLE) scores of international medical graduates. Simply put, going through the ECFMG certification process is an IMG’s gateway to having a career in the United States.

Aside from granting ECFMG certificates, the ECFMG’s primary role is ensuring the quality of medical assistance in the country. It does this by providing elite and well-trained physicians. The ECFMG also serves members of the industry, including doctors, members of the medical education, and members of regulatory communities.

Importance of an ECFMG certificate

The medical field is a demanding market for competitive and precise expertise. One cannot simply enter the industry if they do not have enough educational background and training. Also, healthcare workers are required to have licenses and certifications, like an ECFMG certificate, before legally practicing their profession.

Besides that, below are the more reasons why having an ECFMG certificate is important:

  1. Passing the ECFMG certification process is a prerequisite for international medical graduates who want to participate in the US graduate medical education or GME. 
  2. Being part of the ECFMG certification process is vital for Step 3 of the United States Medical Licensure Examination.
  3. One cannot have an unrestricted US medical license without an ECFMG certificate.
  4. Having an ECFMG certificate means that you pass Step 2 or Clinical Skills (CS) part of the USMLE.
  5. ECFMG certification assists international medical graduates in easily finding a residency program

Technically, you cannot legally practice as a physician in the US if you are an IMG without an ECFMG certificate. Therefore, if you plan to work as a US medical professional, you must process and apply for an ECFMG certificate.

ECFMG certificate requirements

Almost 25% of the physicians in the United States are international medical graduates. And to become one, all of them acquired an ECFMG certificate. However, despite its prevalence, the ECFMG certification process is no easy feat. It is a strenuous and tedious program that has significant demands.

Specifically, here are the things an IMG needs to have to be eligible for an ECFMG certificate:

Medical education requirement

Before you apply for an ECFMG certificate, your school should be under the World Directory of Medical Schools. This is because only international medical graduates from medical schools that are part of the World Directory met the official training requirements of ECFMG. If your school did not meet the education qualifications set by the commission, you could not pursue an ECFMG certificate.

To know whether your medical school has recognition from ECFMG, there should be an ECFMG note on the Sponsor’s tab of your school’s listing. To access this information, you can visit the World Directory’s official website.

Application form

After confirming that your medical school is part of the World Directory, you can now proceed with the ECFMG certification process. To start, you need to fill out the online application form and the Certification of Identification Form or Form 138.

Within Form 138, the applicant must disclose and legally declare personal information in your ECFMG record. This includes your name, date of birth, and gender. After, it should be notarized via NotaryCam.

Note that the applicant’s information in Form 138 must match those in their unexpired passport. If not, ECFMG will not process your application.

Pass the USMLE Step 1 and 2

The USMLE’s Step 1 and 2 or Clinical Knowledge (CK) and Clinical Skills (CS) components are the main examination requirements of the ECFMG certification. Therefore, it is necessary to have satisfactory test results for these exams in order to be eligible for an ECFMG certificate.

After completing all application requirements and passing the notarized copy of your Form 138, you will be given a USMLE/ECFMG Identification Number. By then, your ECFMG certification process will begin.

Getting an ECFMG certificate online

The ECFMG certification process can take years to complete. Aside from that, what if you do not meet every requirement needed for the recognition? What if it is only later on in your career that you realized you want to practice medicine in the US, thus lacking the medical school qualification? Is it impossible to get an ECFMG certificate? Definitely no!

There are easier ways for you to get an ECFMG certificate online, aside from directly applying through the commission’s certification process. What you can do is to conveniently buy an online ECFMG certificate from accredited third-party degree providers instead. 

Here is how to know if a degree seller is genuine:

  1. It has official partner universities and agencies like ECFMG who have recognition and accreditation by their respective governments.
  2. It offers supporting documents necessary for the validity of your degree or certificate.
  3. All of its materials go through due processes like verification and legalization.
  4. There is a background assessment requirement for its customers.
  5. It only offers reasonable prices for its products and services.

By buying an ECFMG certificate online, you will not only get the physical copy of your acknowledgment, but you will also receive an impressive ECFMG transcript. And if you find the right degree provider who is officially collaborating with the commission, like us, you warrant yourself getting an ECFMG certificate that will safely appear on background checks.

Why you should earn an ECFMG certificate

There are more benefits to having an ECFMG certificate aside from being a licensed physician in the US. When you pass the ECFMG certification process or even if you buy your ECFMG certificate online, you can have a better solid foundation for your career. Meaning, more people will trust your services in the healthcare industry.

On that note, here are the specific career advantages an ECFMG certificate has to offer:

Assistance for US Visa application

Not everyone can enter the United States. The country can deny entry to those who do not have a US visa. Plus, getting a visa is not easy, especially if you do not have a valid and acceptable reason for being in the United States. But, you can comfortably gain access to this document if you have an ECFMG certificate. Why? Because you can use your residency program as a genuine justification for your stay.

Better working opportunities

Having an ECFMG certificate means that you met the standards of being a physician in the US despite being an international medical graduate. It also means that you gained training from an accredited medical university. Hence, employers from more renowned institutions will be more willing to hire you, give you enhanced employer-employee benefits, and better working conditions.

Exceptional income incentives

Did you know that degree holders earn 30,000 USD more than those who do not have a degree? This is because their expertise is more valuable and in demand. Employers believe that these professionals only have the best to offer in the industry since they had proper education and training. Therefore, you also increase your income benefits when you have an ECFMG certificate because your knowledge and skills become more worthy.

As mentioned, the healthcare industry is expected to continually be accountable for employment opportunities in the US for the next decade. It is an ever-growing market of skills and in-demand workforce. Thus, pursuing a career in the US medical field is advantageous since there will always be a job waiting for you. And the best part of it is that it is one of the high-paying careers one could get.

Therefore, if you are among those people who are interested in becoming a physician in the United States, it would be best to earn your ECFMG certificate now. On the other hand, if you are an IMG with enough medical expertise but lack one or two of the ECFMG certification requirements, you can buy your ECFMG certificate from us. By doing so, you can easily gain a valid professional recognition for applying in the USMLE and getting your medical license.

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