As 2021 nears a close, it is already time to begin thinking about the 2022 Match process. One of the first major deadlines for IMGs hoping to participate in next year’s Match cycle: ECFMG Pathway Applications.

ECFMG certification is the process of determining whether IMGs are prepared to begin U.S. residency. This is a required step all IMGs must take to take both USMLE Step 3 and to enter into an ACGME program.

For IMGs hoping to Match into a U.S. residency program, there are six Pathways to choose from to obtain ECFMG certification. In order to begin the process toward this certification, graduates must apply to one of these Pathways. For those looking to participate in the 2022 Match process, your application must be submitted no later than December 15, 2021.

For more on choosing your Pathway and submitting your application, check out some resources below.


Choosing and Applying to Your ECFMG Pathway

There are currently six Pathways toward ECFMG certification. Each Pathway requires different steps for medical trainees, however, each Pathway also has differing required qualifications. Therefore, you will likely only qualify for one Pathway option. While Pathways 1 through 5 are recurring Pathway options, Pathway 6 is newly introduced following the USMLE’s permanent discontinuation of the Step 2 Clinical Exam as an alternative option for those who failed or did not pass Step 2 CS before it was discontinued.

To determine which Pathway you qualify for and for more information on the process for applying to each Pathway, visit ECFMG’s website for a breakdown of each Pathway.

Finally, when/if you are ready to apply for ECFMG certification, visit

For more information, check out this thorough FAQ from the ECFMG website.