ECFMG Certification Step by Step Process - IMGPrep

ECFMG Certification Step by Step Process

October 14, 2020


 How do I become ECFMG Certified? Here’s the STEP-BY-STEP PROCESS

We will consider the case of Carolina Sanchez, a graduate of a medical school in Brazil.  Carolina would like to apply for a Residency in the U.S. but is not sure what to do. Here is a step-by-step approach to acquire ECFMG Certification:

STEP 1: Carolina checks to see whether her medical school is properly accredited. It must meet the requirements established by ECFMG. She confirms this by finding its listing in the World Directory of Medical Schools at Note that starting in 2024 (it was originally 2023), she will be eligible to apply for ECFMG Certification if her school is accredited by an agency that is recognized by the World Federation for Medical Education (WFME). Carolina can find details and important updates at

STEP 2:Carolina  did not yet have her USMLE/ECFMG Identification Number. To apply for one, she goes to the ECFMG site ( and selects: On-line Services > IWA—Interactive Web Applications > “If you have never been issued a USMLE/ECFMG Identification Number and want to request one, click here.” This takes her to the initial instruction page, which she reads carefully so she can fill out the form exactly as required before she submits it. After a couple of weeks (which can vary) Carolina receives her Identification Number in an email, along with her password, which she can change.

STEP 3: Carolina goes back to the ECFMG site > IWA and logs in using her new Identification Number and password, and as a first-time user establishes her account and fills out a new application, this time for her ECFMG Certification. Again, she is careful to study and follow the instructions. Carolina makes payment and submits the online portion of her Application for ECFMG Certification.

STEP 4: After submitting payment and her Application for Certification, Carolina downloads Certification of Identification Form 186 (if she was still an undergrad student, it would be Form 183) and prints, completes, and has the form notarized via NotaryCam, as per the instructions provided. She then waits for the email confirmation that ECFMG has received the on-line part of her Application. This will also include a scheduling permit that will allow scheduling the exams.

STEP 5: Carolina applies and pays for each of the required USMLE Step exams using IWA as before, following the provided instructions. Once she receives ECFMG verification for each Step Application, which will include a scheduling permit, she schedules each on the Prometric site (, as instructed. She must pass USMLE Step 1 and Step 2 – Clinical Knowledge (CK), and since she has not already passed Step 2 – Clinical Skills (CS) which is currently suspended due to COVID-19 protocol, she follows the instructions for the pathways as detailed here for 2021:  Throughout the USMLE Steps, Carolina follows her application status and payments on OASIS, on the ECFMG site.

STEP 6: While pursuing the USMLE Steps, Carolina waits to receive her final medical diploma from her medical school. Once it arrives, she scans it and emails it to ECFMG according to instructions. Once this has been verified, notification that her medical education credentials are complete and verified appears on OASIS.

STEP 7: Having satisfactorily passed USMLE Steps 1 and 2 (CK), having selected and pursued the proper pathway and satisfactorily completed the Occupational English Test (OET) Medicine, as instructed, Carolina waits to receive notification online that she has been ECFMG certified. The hard copy of her ECFMG Certificate is then mailed to her. Both final steps can be tracked on OASIS.

While your situation may differ from Carolina’s, the online instructions cover all the variables in detail, and by following them you should be readily able to obtain your ECFMG Certificate!


Additional resources:

ECFMG Certification Fact Sheet:

USMLE Step 3 Eligibility Requirements During the Step 2 Clinical Skills Suspension:

Important Links to the various required and useful documents including and in addition to those mentioned above can be found at


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