This is a dynamic guide, meaning it will be updated if any changes are made by ECFMG for applying to United States Medical Licensing Examination.

United States Medical Licensing Examination (USMLE) is the entry point for all International Medical Graduates (IMG) to get into Graduate Medical Education aka residency in United States. It consists of 3 steps dividing as Step 1, Step 2 CK, Step 2 CS & Step 3. Starting 2014, Step 3 would also be divided into two parts.

This guide illustrates the method which can be used for Chinese medical graduates to apply for USMLE for the first time.

Apply for ECFMG Account & Certification

  1. Go to ECFMG official website, and click “Online Services”, here you will find a link called “On-line Applicant Status and Information System”, click it.
  2. At the bottom of the page, you will see a link named “If you are a first-time user of ECFMG On-line Services, click here to establish an account.”, click it.
  3. Now you will have to make a request for a new account by filling in the information. Every detail you enter should be counter checked twice here, before submitting the form.
  4. It normally take 1-5 working days, to get your account information from ECFMG via email.
  5. Once you have that information, you can now go to the same procedure as mentioned in step 1, but this time you will have to sign in with the credentials you were emailed by ECFMG.
  6. Apply for ECFMG Certification from your account, it will cost you $60.
  7. After you have applied for ECFMG certification, you are now able to apply for USMLE Steps.
USMLE Application contains two parts: Online Application, and offline application.

Online Application:

  1. Go to ECFMG official website, and click “Online Services”, here you will find a link called “IWA- Interactive Web Applications”, click it. Signin to your account.
  2. You will see the link named “Begin a New Application”, Click it. Now you will have to fill in the form according to your own credentials and data provided by your particular medical school.
  3. Pay the fees as demanded by the ECFMG website at the end of application. (Make sure you have a valid credit/debit card which can pay for international transactions)
  4. You will be provided with some forms to be downloaded and filled in. Download the forms and fill them in your own handwriting.

Offline Application:

  1. Form 186, 187, 344 and 345, two photocopies of your medical diploma, one translated copy of your Chinese diploma and one recent picture. All these should be sent to your medical school and will be signed by the medical school’s vice-president aka secretory of the party committee.
  2. Incase you are a graduate and not currently present in China, notarize your Form of Identification from US Embassy/Consulate in your home country otherwise it can be rejected.
  3. All the forms should then be sent to ECFMG, 3624 Market Street, 4th Floor, Philadelphia, PA 19104-2685, USA by your school.
  4. In about 3-6 weeks you should receive an email that your Form 186 has been accepted and will stay valid for 5 years.
  5. You can track your USMLE application process in OASIS.
  6. Once your application has been approved a scheduling permit will be issued, and an email would be sent with instruction on how to print your scheduling permit.

If you have any questions coin them in the comments sections, and we will try to answer them.