International Medical Graduates (IMGs) can utilize the Pathways program to satisfy specific prerequisites for ECFMG Certification and to engage in the National Resident Matching Program® (NRMP®) Main Residency Match® (The Match®). The ECFMG Pathways program assesses IMGs on their clinical and communication capabilities—skills essential for participating in U.S. graduate medical education (GME) and for delivering supervised patient care. To earn ECFMG certification, applicants need to fulfill all other ECFMG Certification requirements apart from the Pathways prerequisites.
ECFMG has ceased taking new Pathways applications for candidates intending to take part in the 2023 Match. However, if you have submitted a 2023 Pathways application, you can keep track of its progress via the online application. ECFMG will continue processing existing 2023 Pathways applications up until the 2023 Match. The outcome of a Pathways application will not be decided until all necessary supporting documents and/or verifications have been obtained. Applicants should refer to the specific instructions for the Pathway they are applying to in the ECFMG Certification Requirements for the 2023 Match section on the ECFMG website for information on necessary documentation.
Concerning Incomplete 2023 Pathways Applications
All incomplete 2023 Pathways applications will be rejected once the 2024 Pathways application opens. Applicants who were rejected for the 2023 Pathways will have the chance to reapply for the 2024 Pathways when it becomes available. The online application process for the 2024 Pathways is projected to begin late in the second quarter of 2023.
The Pathways for ECFMG Certification for the 2024 Match are designed for IMGs who need to fulfill the clinical and communication skills prerequisites for ECFMG Certification and who plan to participate in the 2024 Match (in March 2024).
The 2024 Pathways application is anticipated to open late in the second quarter of 2023. Please check the ECFMG website for updates on the availability of the online application.
As mentioned earlier, IMGs whose applications were rejected for the 2023 Pathways will have the opportunity to reapply for the 2024 Pathways when the application opens.
Like the 2023 Pathways, six Pathways will be available for the 2024 Pathways. Changes to eligibility and prerequisites are detailed below.
Evaluation of Communication Skills, Including English Language Proficiency
Like the 2023 Pathways, all IMGs who choose one of the six 2024 Pathways will need to achieve a satisfactory score on the Occupational English Test (OET) Medicine as part of their Pathways prerequisites. This requirement applies to all Pathways applicants, regardless of their citizenship or native language.
Change in eligible testing dates: Applicants for the 2024 Pathways must have achieved a satisfactory score on OET Medicine on or after January 1, 2022.
Pathway 1: Already Licensed to Practice Medicine in Another Country
Just like in the 2023 Pathways, Pathway 1 is designed for applicants who currently possess or have recently had a license/registration to practice medicine without supervision. Applicants will need to show that they have or have had a suitable license/registration and that the license/registration has not been subjected to disciplinary action.
Adjustment to qualifying licensure dates: For the 2024 Pathways, those applying to Pathway 1 should currently possess, or have previously possessed, an unrestricted, full license to practice medicine that was granted at any point on or following January 1, 2019. The original date of licensure/registration might be before January 1, 2019, but the license/registration should still have been valid on or after this date.
Pathway 2: Previously Cleared an Objective Structured Clinical Examination (OSCE) for Medical Licensure Conducted by a Recognized Medical School
Alteration to acceptable graduation date: Applicants to Pathways 3, 4, and 5 for the 2024 Pathways must hold a medical school graduation date that falls on or after January 1, 2022.
Pathway 6: Assessment of Clinical Patient Interactions by Licensed Doctors
Consistent with the 2023 Pathways, Pathway 6 is designed for candidates who do not satisfy the eligibility prerequisites for Pathway 1, 2, 3, 4, or 5. To fulfill the requirements for Pathway 6, licensed physicians must observe and evaluate the applicant’s clinical abilities in six genuine, face-to-face clinical encounters using the ECFMG Mini-Clinical Evaluation Exercise (Mini-CEX) for Pathway 6.
Amendments to physician evaluator procedures: In the 2024 Pathways, there will be slight adjustments to the protocols that physician evaluators must adhere to when completing Mini-CEX evaluations for Pathway 6 applicants.
In line with the 2023 Pathways, the application fee for the 2024 Pathways will be set at $925.
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