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04 Nov 2016

International Medical Graduates Must Know This Information

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Medical Licensing Experts have put together a quick guide of minimum requirements for International Medical Graduates.

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While each medical board has a measure of independence and control over specific licensing requirements, there is a minimum satisfactory guideline that must be met for all international graduates. I have outlined the guidelines below:


1.)    You must have an MD equivalency degree, such as an MBBS to apply for examinations and residency in the US. A good way to determine if your school is recognized by most medical boards is to use either the California Approved Medical School list or the Texas Approved Medical School list. California is the ruler by which most medical board measure equivalency, but some states use the Texas guidelines.

If your school is not on either list, there may be other options available to you,  based on your background and other requirements, but you will need to seek the specialized knowledge of a licensing firm.


2.)    If your school is on the lists, you then need to apply through the ECFMG (Educational Council for Foreign Medical Graduates) to pass all three steps of the USMLE (US Medical Licensing Examination) test and receive your ECFMG certification.

3.)    You must also successfully complete at least two years of post-graduate training (some states require three and Georgia only requires one year of training if you meet all of the other requirements) in an ACGME (Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education) recognized program.  You can complete part three of your USMLE exams while you attend residency. You will need to apply for residency through the NRMP (National Residency Match Program). You must be ECFMG certified and complete USMLE Step  and Step 2 CK and CS prior to registering for the residency match.


4.)    Please note that you probably qualify for a fellowship program in the US if you have already completed your post graduate training in another country, however most fellowship programs are not  ACGME accredited, and will not satisfy the necessary requirements to license in all states.

Please inquire directly to the program in question to determine if  your fellowship is ACGME accredited before assuming that you will be able to acquire a license in the United States after training. The fellowship coordinator with know whether his/her program meets the ACGME requirements.


5.)    Some states will also require board certification in addition to all of the steps listed above, and a few will also require some form of additional testing (such as a juris prudence or statutes & limitations exam) before your license is issued.


The steps toward becoming a licensed physician in the US can be lengthy and even overwhelming, but once you are licensed to work in the state of your choice, opportunities abound and remunerations are robust for hard-working, ethical practitioners.

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