Understand the special residency application requirements applicable to graduates of medical schools outside the United States. The Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates (ECFMG) issues a standard certificate to international medical graduates (IMGs) who apply for certification and meet all ECFMG requirements. There are three steps to receive the ECFMG certification: IMGs must verify their eligibility in each of the U. S.
states and to each program before applying for the United States Medical Licensing Examination (USMLE). Failure to do so could result in a waste of time and money in states that limit training permits and licensing to fewer international medical schools than the full list in the World Directory of Medical Schools. Once IMGs meet the eligibility requirements for the exam, they can apply for the required exams. IMGs are required to take and pass the same exam taken by U.
medical graduates. Exams are offered throughout the year. International students and graduates must also meet the eligibility requirements for ECFMG Pathways, a program that evaluates the clinical and communication skills required for ECFMG certification. The sequence and timing of these requirements has been a challenge, so it's important to review these requirements and begin the process before the third year of medical school. The Fellowship and Residency Electronic Interactive Database Access (FREIDA) is the online directory of graduate medical education programs sponsored by the American Medical Association (AMA).
The Council for Accreditation of Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) also offers a directory of residencies, while the American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP) offers an online directory of family medicine residencies that has a search function beyond those of the other two. For each medical specialty, there is specific information about the individual programs and any general or special application requirements. Application deadlines may vary between programs, and you should contact the programs directly for their deadlines. Since offers made and accepted during match week will be binding under the match participation agreement, only candidates who meet the requirements to start training on July 1 of the match year will be able to participate. The National Resident Matching Program (NRMP) will exchange data with the ECFMG to re-certify the status of IMGs.
Learn About Application Deadlines and RequirementsMany residencies list their program requirements for applicants on their websites, such as the year they graduated from medical school, the types of visas they accept, or the number of attempts allowed at the USMLE.
Research the residency requirements before you apply and direct your submission of applications appropriately.
Understand Eligibility RequirementsBefore devoting efforts and financial resources to an application, it is important to understand eligibility requirements for each residency program of interest. It can be difficult for IMGs to obtain residency interviews in the U. S., as allopathic and osteopathic medical schools have grown considerably, leading to increasing competition for a relatively fixed number of residency positions in the U. S.
As a result, many residency programs have tightened their eligibility requirements. Many residencies list their requirements for applicants on their websites, so research these before applying to residency programs. Also research licensing requirements for that specific state; The Federation of State Medical Boards (FSMB) releases specific state requirements for initial medical license. In addition, some states have a list of recognized international medical schools that are eligible to obtain a license in that state.
Some institutions will sponsor visas for IMGs in residency programs; The ECFMG is also authorized by U. State Department to sponsor foreign doctors for J-1 visa. Questions about obtaining a visa should be directed to staff at residency program, U. Embassy or consulate in your country of residence or in U.
After obtaining ECFMG certification, doctors who wish to practice medicine in United States must complete an accredited residency training program in United States or Canada; this process will take at least 3 years. Doctor must complete residency program regardless of training received abroad.
Competition For Residency PositionsAs general rule, International Medical Graduates (IMG) (both U. S citizens and non-citizens) have matching rate approximately 48%.
Process finding residency has become increasingly competitive, so international applicants postgraduate medicine should pay more attention application itself stand out; according AAMC, some cases medical schools even “require applicants show sufficient financial resources pay four years medical school” or require applicants have full amount escrow account.