Terms and Acronyms

Through its program of certification, the Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates (ECFMG) assesses the readiness of international medical graduates to enter residency or fellowship programs in the United States that are accredited by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME).
ECFMG acts as the registration and score-reporting agency for the USMLE for foreign medical students/ graduates, in effect acting as the designated Dean's office for International Medical Graduates (IMGs) in contrast to the American Medical Graduates (AMGs).
It conducts three examinations: Step 1, Step 2CK, Step 2CS.
The ECFMG certificate is issued to a physician if he or she passes the above the three exams within a time period of seven years.
The Electronic Residency Application Service (ERAS) is a service that transmits applications, letters of recommendation, Medical Student Performance Evaluations, medical school transcripts, USMLE transcripts, and other supporting credentials from applicants and their designated dean's office to program directors.
ERAS consists of MyERAS, Dean's Office Workstation (DWS), Program Director's Workstation (PDWS), and ERAS PostOffice.
The National Resident Matching Program (NRMP) is a United States-based private non-profit non-governmental organization created in 1952 to help match medical school students with residency and fellowship programs.
The NRMP is sponsored by the American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS), the American Medical Association (AMA), the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC), the American Hospital Association (AHA), and the Council of Medical Specialty Societies (CMSS).
The Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS) is the web-accessible database for monitoring information about exchange visitors, international students and scholars subject to this program.
It was established by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, and is administered by the Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP)
  • The Test of English as a Foreign Language, or TOEFL,  evaluates the ability of an individual to use and understand English in an academic setting.
  • It was developed to address the problem of ensuring English language proficiency for non-native speakers wishing to study at American universities.
  • It has become an admission requirement for non-native English speakers at many English-speaking colleges and universities.
  • Additionally, institutions such as government agencies, licensing bodies, businesses, or scholarship programs may require this test.
  • A TOEFL score is valid for two years and then will no longer be officially reported since a candidate's language proficiency could have significantly changed since the date of the test. Colleges and universities usually consider only the most recent TOEFL score.
  • TUSM minimum score requirement for TOEFL :  ≥80
  • Candidates who have passed the USMLE Step 1 are not subject to the TOEFL requirement.
The United States Medical Licensing Examination (USMLE) is a multi-part professional examination sponsored by the Federation of State Medical Boards (FSMB) and the National Board of Medical Examiners (NBME).
Physicians with an M.D. degree are required to pass this examination before being permitted to practice medicine in the United States.
The USMLE assesses a physician's ability to apply knowledge, concepts and principles, and to determine fundamental patient-centered skills that are important in health and disease and that constitute the basis of safe and effective patient care.
Students who have graduated from medical schools outside the US and Canada must pass all three steps of the USMLE to be licensed to practice in the U.S., regardless of the title of their degree: Step 1 (sciences fundamental to medicine, Step 2-CK (Clinical Knowledge) and Step 2-CS (Clinical Skills).
More details on USMLE and how it applies to Tufts University School of Medicine programs is available in the Required Qualifications section of this Web site.
International medical graduates and students must have a visa to study in the United States
There are several types of visas; the common ones applicable to Tufts University School of Medicine programs are:
  • F-1 (Student Visa)
  • H-1-B (Professional Trainee)
  • J-1 (Exchange Visitor)
  • B-1 and B-2 (professional and pleasure visits)