If you currently attend or graduated from medical school outside of the United States, you must first certify that you are eligible to enter residency programs in the United States that are accredited by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education. The location of the medical school, not the citizenship of the applicant, determines whether the candidate is an International Medical Graduate, IMG. Your application must be submitted to the Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates (ECFMG®) before you take the USMLE.
In order to be certified you must submit the application, pass USMLE Step 1, USMLE Step 2 CK and USMLE Step 2 CS within the allowed time limits, and present sufficient medical education credential requirements.
Certification does not guarantee acceptance into a residency program. IMGs must complete all of the standard residency application requirements, plus make sure that their application gives them an extra edge to stand out from the crowd. Here are some tips for residency success:
Once you are accepted into a program, if you are not a U.S. or Canadian citizen, you will need to obtain the appropriate visa. Some institutions will sponsor visas for students in their residency programs. The EFCMG is also authorized to sponsor visas for foreign national physicians. To learn more, contact your residency program staff or U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services.
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