ECFMG Primary Source Verification and Irregular Behavior for Submitting Falsified Documents

Posted January 20th, 2021 by .

Categories: ECFMG.

All International Medical Graduates (IMGs) are required to obtain ECFMG certification before they may begin training at any accredited United States graduate medical education residency training program.  In addition, with few exceptions, each state and territory medical board across the United States of America requires IMGs to possess an ECFMG Certificate before it will consider any application for medical licensure.  While the importance of ECFMG’s role in an IMG’s entry into medical practice in the United States cannot be understated, ECFMG also plays a significant role in medical licensing and credentialing across the globe.

Per its mission statement, ECFMG serves to “promote quality health care for the public by certifying international medical graduates for entry into U.S. graduate medical education and by participating in the evaluation and certification of other physicians and health care professionals nationally and internationally.”   

With contacts at medical colleges and training hospitals around the world, ECFMG is uniquely positioned to offer its primary source verification services to licensing and credentialing bodies outside of the United States.  Through its EPIC Physician Portal and its agreements with other nations (including, the Medical Council of Canada (MCC)), ECFMG provides primary source verification services for everything from medical diplomas to internship training completion certificates.

When an individual seeking licensure or credentialing in a foreign country uploads documents as part of that physician’s application (whether by way of a document repository or otherwise), the international credentialing body frequently forwards those documents to ECFMG for primary source verification.  If ECFMG receives information that the document or certificate submitted is not authentic, it will issue a letter accusing that individual of irregular behavior.   If, after having the opportunity to respond to the allegations, that individual is found guilty of engaging in irregular behavior by submitting a falsified document, they will face severe consequences. In appropriate circumstances,  ECFMG will revoke that individual’s ECFMG certificate, declare the individual ineligible for ECFMG certification, and/or bar that individual from ever again receiving the benefit of ECFMG services (including future primary source verification services).

Our office has substantial experience in successfully representing IMGs and those on the IMG path who have been accused of causing falsified documents to be submitted to ECFMG.  Should you have questions about ECFMG’s role in evaluating and certifying physician credentials, our attorneys stand ready to assist.

For more than 10 years, Dennis L. Abramson has dedicated a significant portion of his practice to counseling and representing medical students, IMGs, residents, fellows, and practicing physicians in compliance and disciplinary matters related to ECFMG, USMLE, NBME, and NRMP, including responding to and defending allegations of irregular behavior and violations of the Match® agreement. Should you need advice or counsel with a related issue, please contact Mr. Abramson at 610-664-5700 or

Mr. Abramson regularly updates this page with the latest developments related to ECFMG, USMLE, NRMP, ABIM, irregular behavior, and physician licensing and credentialing issues, so check back soon.

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