Doing your Medical specialty in the United States

Residency programs

Residency programs


Doing your Medical specialty in the United States

Residency programs Steps to do your Residency program

The United States has the best universities in the world to study medicine and is a great option if you want to be a great physician in any specialty you choose. In this blog, we will let you know the steps to take when applying for a residency program in the United States such as: admission process, requirements and the opportunities you will have by doing your residency in this country.

Residency program requirements in the United States for international medical graduates

In order to do your residency program in the United States as an international Medical graduate you need to be certified by the ECFMG (Educational commission for Foreign medical graduates). In order to be certified you need to fulfill the following requirements:

  1. Be a graduate of one of the medical schools approved by the ECFMG. You can find your school at https://www.wdoms.org/ (World Directory of Medical Schools).
  2. Prove of graduation such as diploma and transcripts
  3. Take the USMLE (United States Medical Licensing Examination) Step 1 and Step 2 clinical knowledge and Step 2 Clinical Skills. The USMLE exam is a 3 step examination sponsored by the Federation of State Medical Boards (FSMB) and the National Board of Medical Examiners (NBME). The USMLE Step 1 assesses important concepts of the basic sciences to medicine, Step 2 Clinical Knowledge assesses whether you can apply medical knowledge, skills and understanding of clinical science for provision of patient care under supervision, and Step 2, Clinical skills is a “hands-on” exam that tests clinical and communication skills. You can find more information at www.usmle.org It is important to note that there are time limits to completing these exams.

Once you fulfill these requirements to be eligible for ECFMG certification and examination you can apply for a USMLE/ECFMG identification number. Once you have this number you can complete your certification.

Apart from the ECFMG certification you need to:

  • Take the TOEFL exam if your first language is not English
  • USMLE Step 3 – Assesses your ability to apply medical knowledge and understanding of biomedical and clinical science with emphasis on patient management in ambulatory settings. This is the last exam you must take.



Once you have 3 of the 4 exams (USMLE 1, 2 CK and 2CS) an international medical graduate can apply for a residency program through the ERAS (Electronic Residency Application Service). The NRMP (National Residency Matching Program) will give you information regarding your match. You will need the following when applying to a residency:

  • CV
  • Reference Letters
  • Photograph
  • Personal statement
  • Interviews

With all 4 exams (USMLE1, 2 CK, 2 CS and 3) a doctor may obtain a license to practice.

The type of visa that can be obtained is a J-1 visa (“Exchange visitor”) sponsored by the ECFMG which is the sole J-1 visa sponsor for physicians in the United States clinical GME programs and it works closely with training programs within the United States.

Recommendations to do your residency program in the United States

Prepare well for your exams, buy the necessary books, study hard, take courses, if necessary, practice, watch videos and practice your English.

Doing your residency program in the United States will help you boost your career and it will also open the doors of possibly working in the United States or returning to your country with much better opportunities.

If you are interested in starting the process of starting your medical residency program, contact us at 1-956-6888144, WhatsApp 1-956-3108783 or e-mail us at info@foseas.com. We will happily answer any questions you may have.

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