Becoming a doctor in the United States is a long and complex process, and for international medical graduates, it can be even more challenging. To practice medicine in the US, doctors must complete an accredited residency program and obtain the Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates (ECFMG) certification. In this article, we will explore the professional requirements for an international medical training program, including visas, residency programs, and more. The first step in the process is to obtain the ECFMG certification.
This certification is mandatory for all international medical graduates who wish to practice medicine in the US. The ECFMG is authorized by the US State Department to sponsor foreign doctors for the J-1 visa, which is the most common visa used by international medical graduates to participate in US Graduate Medical Education (GME) programs. Information on eligibility and deadlines can be found on the ECFMG website. Once an international medical graduate receives a J-1 visa and a state medical license, they can obtain a new work authorization status for the US.
This could be an H-1B visa or an immigrant visa. The H-1B visa is for temporary workers in specialty occupations that have professional-level degrees and does not have a 2-year home residence requirement. It allows a foreign national to enter the US for professional-level jobs for up to 6 years. An immigrant visa (also known as a green card or permanent resident status) allows a foreign citizen to stay permanently in the US. After obtaining the ECFMG certification, doctors who wish to practice medicine in the United States must complete an accredited residency training program in the United States or Canada.
This process will take at least 3 years, regardless of any training received abroad. The American Medical Association (AMA) has adopted a policy and continues to support legislation that will ensure that doctors, students, and international residents can practice medicine and obtain their medical training in the US.
Family Medicine Residency ProgramsFamily Medicine Residency Programs accredited by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) require three years of training. Some family medicine residencies offer a four-year training plan, while others that combine family medicine training with another specialty, such as psychiatry, require five years. The Department of State has designated the Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates (ECFMG) as the sole sponsor for all foreign doctors who wish to pursue a graduate medical education or training program. Before you can become a successful doctor, you need to grow as a medical student.
Learn what key skills you should expect on your first day of training and find out who should write your letters of recommendation for residency applications and what they need from you. An expert doctor offers information. The AMA promotes the art and science of medicine and the improvement of public health. The AMA has adopted a policy and continues to support legislation that will ensure that doctors, students, and international residents can practice medicine and obtain their medical training in the US. Subscribe now to receive the latest news from IMG Toolkit for International Medical Graduates (IMG).